Richard Farmer and Weston McAfee met several years ago while working in the Oil and Gas industry as welders and machine fabricators in southeast Ohio. At the time, the industry was experiencing a boom. However, shortly after, the price of oil dropped and unfortunately so did the industry. Both men found themselves laid off and living on their unemployment. Each of them had exceptional skills in metal fabrication with a solid understanding of the oil and gas business. After many conversations, they decided to start a business designing and manufacturing machined parts for local companies which required design and machining skills both men possessed. Weston’s grandfather had owned a farm tractor dealership. Fortunately for them, the building was vacant and contained many of the tools they would need. The only problem was they had no business experience. They heard about the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Marietta, Ohio and contacted business consultant John Voorhies.

With the assistance of the SBDC , they formed Copperline Machine & Fabrication, LLC in January, 2017 after several meetings with John to work through the due diligence of the business start. They have gradually grown to include dozens of long term and steady customers. The company has designed new product developments that include unique prototypes of innovative products. These innovative designs provide better and more efficient products for the industry. The SBDC has been there every step of the way with regular meetings which included assistance with increasing profits, accounts receivables, labor management, as well as general business advice. This year their goal is to move into government contacts and the SBDC will be there to help them navigate the system.

Copperline Machine & Fabrications LLC is growing their reputation and services and 2018 looks to be a great year for the company. Just over a year ago Weston and Richard were wondering what they were going to do. Now they have taken their passions and turned them into profit thanks to hard work and the guidance of the Small Business Development Center. Co-Owner Richard Farmer says, “The SBDC was instrumental in getting our business started. We did not know the ins and outs of opening a business but John gave us all the advice and expertise needed. He has been there whenever we have needed him as well. The fact that this service is free is amazing.”

Second Quarter – 2018