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Kansas Small Business Development Center

Gilmore Crane Corporation

2006 Emerging Business of the Year

In 2003 Allen Gilmore found himself face to face with a life altering decision – continue working for his existing employer or start his own commercial crane operation founded on customer service as the first priority. Based on years of experience in the industry both as an operator and manager, Allen was well prepared to run a company but needed help accessing the capital needed to invest in equipment and working capital.

In one marathon day long counseling session, Allen worked with Susie Pryor at the Washburn KSBDC to review his information, help write his business plan, and work up the financial projections his banker required to make the loan decision. Allen got approved and with that first loan was able to purchase his first two cranes and begin operations.

Early on the business experienced some unexpected challenges. In his second month of operations, key equipment failed resulting in serious downtime and loss of revenue. Unable to pay for the necessary crane repairs, Allen and his employees rolled up their sleeves and worked around the clock to make the repairs themselves. Undeterred, the Company began to grow.

Allen saw a niche in the construction industry that he knew he could exploit with superior customer service. While most crane operations look for long term jobs, Allen built his company to specialize in one-day crane service. And his company has grown exponentially. Along the way, Fidelity State Bank & Trust Company has been instrumental in providing additional financing to help Allen grow the company.

Allen’s greatest satisfaction is running a tight ship and rewarding employees with an annual bonus. He also treasures owning a true family business, one where his wife and son help on a daily basis. Great job Gilmore Crane!

Click here to visit Gilmore Crane Corporation’s website.