Rangers pet retreat


Giving a small business a fighting chance


Ranger’s Pet Outpost and Retreat is a small independent business providing pet care service for more than 4,000 pet owners in Winter Park, Florida. They’ve been in business more 20 years and have grown from four employees in a 1,000 square foot space to more than 50 employees in 20,000 square feet. Their customers (even the four-legged ones) are family to them. So, when the coronavirus pandemic hit, they, like so many businesses across the country, were forced to deal with an unprecedented situation.


“We want to keep everyone safe and healthy,” says co-owner Michael Fried. “Every day is a lesson in adaptation to this new unknown.”


Fried says they have had to cancel all training classes to maintain proper social distancing. With people are not traveling their boarding business has dried up, which has been a major loss of revenue. “We are continuing to provide grooming and daycare service at a reduced level,” says Fried. “But unfortunately, we’ve had to cut our staffing levels to respond to demand.”


When the SBA Paycheck Protection Program first opened, Fried, and co-owner Richard Merrifield III, first went to Bank of America, where they’ve had a relationship for more than 20 years. “Needless to say, they were very big on talk,” says Fried. “But in reality, they did not see our employees or business as a priority.”


A friend of Fried’s then referred him to Valley. Soon after, Valley Business Banker, Shelby Benson, began to work with them. “From the moment I spoke with Shelby it felt right,” says Fried. “She said to us: ‘I’m not sure if we can help, but we will give our best shot.’  It was a little miracle.”


Benson worked closely with them throughout the PPP funding process and was able to help them secure a much-needed loan. They plan to use their funds to help pay their employees and keep their business running until business picks up.


“Michael told me they had applied with Bank of America but were ignored for weeks,” says Benson. “He heard Valley did such a great job for his friend that he asked me if there was any way I could help him. I told him I would do everything I could to get him his PPP funds. I stayed in constant communication with him throughout the process and I think he appreciated that as much as my getting him his SBA approval!”

“We have a fighting chance to get through this downturn and establish a wonderful future,” says Fried. “Shelby Benson has been already been very attentive to our business and we are putting plans together to establish a real banking relationship and saying, ‘goodbye to BOA.’”


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