Bullseye Bicycle and four other local entrepreneurs needed a downtown home for their small businesses.
Step inside Bullsye Bicycle, and you’ll see some unusual furnishings – like a chandelier made of gears and bike chains, or a folding chair made of inner tubes and seat posts. For Tyler Kober, creator of Bullseye, owning his own shop was a chance to create a creative and interesting space for fellow bike-lovers.
Tyler has been in the bicycle industry from more than 20 years. In 2011, he decided to turn his passion into a small business. He had some money saved up to fund the venture, but needed financing to afford a building. A loan from the Self-Help SBA 504 program gave him the capital he needed to purchase and renovate a space in Five Points, a historic building in downtown Durham, NC.
Tyler’s loan was part of a set of loans that together transformed the once-vacant Five Points building into an active corner full of small businesses in the heart of downtown. Self-Help worked with several borrowers, including an architecture studio and a cupcake shop, to renovate the space and provide affordable SBA 504 financing to four local businesses.
Now, these businesses are owner-occupiers of the Five Points building. Over the next several years, the businesses will hire 30 new workers and bring an estimated $2 million of yearly revenue into the downtown area. And at Bullseye, business is booming. Tyler and his staff sell new and used bikes, provide maintenance and repair services, and offer short-term bike rentals to a wide variety of customers.
And the bike chandelier? Not for sale.