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Pendleton Eye Center – Oceanside, California

Pendleton Eye Center owner Dr. Robert Pendleton on his SBA 504 financing experience …

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Welcome to Pendleton Eye Center, I’m Dr. Robert Pendleton. We’re located at 3637 Vista Way in Oceanside on a beautiful, brand-new medical office complex, right at intersection of Vista Way and Rancho Del Oro Road. And we love it.

Pendleton Eye Center is a full-service eye center so that means we offer everything from glasses and contact lenses to cataract surgery, laser vision correction. We have lasers for treating diabetes, macular degeneration, injections, corneal transplants. Pretty much everything if something goes wrong with your eyes, you can bring them here.
You know about eight years ago, my lease was just coming due, I went to speak with the landlord and he said, “You know your neighbors next door? They’re thinking about expanding. I’m not sure I want to renew your lease.” And it was kind of a stressful time.

So, I started looking into how to build my own office at that point. I learned a little bit about the SBA 504 loan at that time. I knew I needed to have about 10 percent down in order to make the thing work and so I started looking at properties and getting an idea what it costs me and started seeing my money. And we initiated the project a few months before the financial crisis so I could feel banking regulations sort of tightening up all around us. And the CDC was instrumental in getting the thing done. If it hadn’t been for them backing us up, I don’t think we would have gotten this project off the ground.

Their part of the application process was quite simple and it basically you’ve got the strength of the government standing behind you.

Since we’ve moved here, we’ve expanded from from four employees to a total of eight counting the doctors. We’re looking for one more. So we’ve more or less doubled in size and revenues grown by almost a factor of two as well.

It’s given us an opportunity to expand. We also added some hearing-aid services. We’ve turned some of the walls into gallery space so we’ve created the little concept called the 2020 Gallery and it allows us to support local artists so we’ve been able to expand in all kinds of ways with with this additional space.

What do I love about what I do? That’s simple: improving people’s vision.

It’s a great feeling when you’ve done something — be a cataract surgery or even just providing the glasses — and people thank you. I see better. That’s what I love about it. If it weren’t for that loan, we wouldn’t have gotten this project done.

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