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Can-do attitude sparks business growth

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If you measure a company's success by its ability to steadily increase revenues and expand, then clearly El Cajon-based Can Do Electric was aptly named by owner Bob Cantrell 17 years ago.

"I started the business in a spare bedroom in my house," said Cantrell. "We made $300,000 the first year, $600,000 the next year and broke $1 million by the third year. Last year, we broke the $10 million barrier."

Can Do Electric specializes in design-to-build services for industrial and commercial projects such as schools, movie theaters and manufacturing facilities in San Diego and other parts of Southern California.

Since leaving Cantrell's bedroom, the company has outgrown several buildings. For the past nine years, it has rented a 4,400-square-foot building on Magnolia Avenue. But having reached a point where the space had become too cramped for his office staff of 15 and about 90 electricians, Cantrell recently bought his own building to provide a larger, more permanent home for Can Do Electric.

Cantrell turned to Susan Ferrara at California Bank & Trust to secure a 504 SBA loan to purchase an 11,500-square-foot building located on 1.5 acres in the new Blossom Valley Business Park. In addition to having a long-term relationship with the bank for both his personal and business financial needs, Cantrell said he selected California Bank & Trust for its aggressive loan terms.

"Their quote on interest and fees made it clear that they valued our business and wanted to take care of us," explained Cantrell. He added that the bank's SBA representatives made getting his loan a positive experience.

"They were so professional," he said. "Ray Weamer came out and explained how the loan would work. And Rexanne Hughes from the bank's Sacramento office was also very helpful."

Tenant improvement construction is under way at Can Do Electric's new building, and the company will move in on July 15.

"There are so many more things we'll be able to do to make our business more competitive with the new building," said Cantrell. "We could easily double our business in the next five to six years without having to move again."

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