Meet Davich Optical
Optometrist Dickson Chen and his wife Jungmi Kim took over a Los Angeles branch of Davich Optical in 2016 to help the Korean eyeglass chain expand into the United States. Located in the city’s Koreatown neighborhood, the branch provides glasses that meet every budget, as well as eye exam and eye care services. Dr. Chen handles the optometry consultation and treatments, while his wife manages the day-to-day operations.
Disaster strikes a thriving business
Despite pricey Los Angeles rent and a staff of seven, Dr. Chen had a solid handle on business expenses. But all of that changed when a fire broke out at the grocery store next door. Smoke and water damage forced Dr. Chen to close the office for days, leaving him with a cash flow deficit and expensive construction needs.
Losses of $5,000 per day
Much of the store had to be remodeled, including the floors, walls, plumbing and electrical. The construction expenses were due upfront, but Dr. Chen knew insurance reimbursements could take several months. Meanwhile, rent and payroll still needed to be paid on time.
Davich Optical is open seven days a week with no appointment necessary to serve busy city residents. Shutting down for even a few days to remodel was a big hit to the business — Dr. Chen calculated the loss at about $5,000 per day. The business also faced a drastic loss in foot traffic. The grocery store where the fire occurred regularly brought new customers to Davich Optical, but would be shut down for at least a year to rebuild. Dr. Chen knew he needed help to keep the business afloat.
Overcoming crisis with help from Kabbage
Fortunately, Dr. Chen and his wife had received a line of credit from Kabbage after a colleague recommended it. They were able to receive funds in as little as a day, which allowed them to pay for upfront construction costs and reopen the business much sooner than expected. A year after the fire, the business has recovered and is back to serving and growing its patient base.