The Patio Diner in Blanding was long overdue for a renovation. A landmark in the town since the 1950's it first started out as an A&W but by 1964 it had become The Patio. And on the patio was where a good number of it's diners ate. That is until Lana and Ricky Arthur became the owners.
Through the Rural Fast Track Program in the State of Utah Natalie Randall at the San Juan County Economic Development and Visitors Services office was able to help the Arthurs work through the process of getting a Fast Track Grant for a substantial portion of what they needed to make the necessary improvements. That funding and some help with a Gap Loan through the Revolving Loan Fund through the Southeastern Utah Association of Local Government (SEUALG), as well as an SBA loan are a few of the tools in the array of assistance programs for businesses that allowed them to make major improvements in The Patio. Lana says it was a bit of a juggling act. The bank was interested in the stream of revenue continuing, even through the renovation. “The bank was strict on closures but we did it. With Natalie’s help I think we cut the amount of time to get through the approval process by a third.” She says.
No one has to eat out on the patio anymore unless the weather is nice and they want to. Doubling the size of the existing building, purchase of a new grill, refrigerators, upgraded air conditioning units, and a walk in freezer allowed Lana and Ricky to make the changes that will keep The Patio Diner on the map for another 60 years.
More financial support came from the Utah Agricultural and Small Business Energy Efficiency Audit program to pay for updating her HVAC system. Beth McCue of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC ) in Moab was instrumental in helping secure an SBA Loan. Since that time San Juan County has established their own Business Resource Center (BRC) at USU Blanding--the Four Corners Business Resource Center.