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Brian and Lynn Shickler and Mary Lou Atkinson (Mother of Lynn Shickler)

Lynn and Brian Shickler dreamed of moving out of the city and purchasing a campground for over two years. They wanted to capitalize on Brian’s general contracting experience and Lynn’s Human Resource expertise.

In January 2010, Brian and Lynn Shickler leveraged their retirement savings and became the new owners of Forest Ridge Campground and Cabins located outside the town of Marienville in Forest County, surrounded by the Allegheny National Forest. The campground consists of 23 acres, five rental cabins and one rental camper, 58 campsites (37 sites are full hook-up sites, 12 electric and water, and nine primitive), an office and store, bathhouse, owners’ home, pavilion, three maintenance buildings, recreational facilities and equipment.

Brian and Lynn Shickler were referred to the Small Business Development Center by a local financial institution to provide assistance in developing their loan presentation and to apply for a Community Economic Development (CED) Loan. According to Lynn, “We never could have done the application without them!” Bank financing for the project was provided by First Commonwealth Bank in Brookville.

The SBDC made it possible for us to obtain a CED loan at only 2%!"

– Lynn Shickler


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The Shicklers’, with the help of Lynn’s Mother, Mary Lou, have been operating the campground without the need of hiring outside employees.

Brian and Lynn continue to utilize the services of the Small Business Development Center attending various business skill workshops, and for referrals to various specialty consultants in the area.