Everybody’s business: Outstanding clients of year selected

The Small Business Development Center at Clovis Community College has named Darrin and Julie Burns outstanding clients of the year.

Mr. and Mrs. Burns, owners of Fort Sumner Processing, were honored in a special ceremony in February at the sate capital.

In 2003, Darrin Burns discussed plans for a slaughter/meat processing business with me at a community event. Darrin and Julie opened their business providing custom slaughter and processing of animals, both commercially raised and wild game, as well as producing retail items including certified Angus steaks.

In 2007, the Burns determined it was time to expand, and the New Mexico Economic Development Department recommended they contact our center.

The previous year, they had begun investigating requirements to have a federal inspector, which expanded their business to interstate shipments of products. To prepare, they sought to purchase the building they were leasing as well as obtaining new food coolers and other equipment.

The SBDC-CCC assisted the Burns in preparing a financing proposal for submission to American Heritage Bank for a Small Business Administration guaranteed loan. Burns welcomed the help he received, which included drawing up a comprehensive business plan.

Burns said, “I simply could not have completed the proposal without the assistance of the SBDC.”

Of his earliest appointments with the Center, Burns recalls, “The SBDC staff came to my business and provided direction and focus to the project. We were then able to streamline our processes and become better focused.”

Predicting the future course of Fort Sumner Processing, Burns says, “The future looks good. Lots of business keeps coming our way and our customer base is growing steadily. The SBDC has been the greatest help to us in making this happen. We’ve recommended the Clovis Center to other business owners who need to grow their business.”

Sandra Taylor-Sawyer is director of the Small Business Development Center at Clovis Community College Contact her at 769-4136, or via e-mail: