California SBDC

Santa Cruz Guitar Company

“Our gratitude for essential support and guidance through the application process for EIDL and PPP, and for valuable and ongoing advisory by SBDC specialists for business valuation, exit strategy, fiscal planning, and general business sense.”

Fine-Tuning Business: Santa Cruz Guitar Co. Finds Harmony with SBDC Support


Santa Cruz Guitar Company is a boutique guitar-making company founded by Richard Hoover in 1976. The company specializes in handmade, customizable guitars and upholds principles of sustainability and ethicality. Richard discovered his passion for guitar making at a young age and has always aimed to make a positive impact in the Santa Cruz community through his company.


The company faced challenges in competing with mass-producing companies and a lack of accessible information in the field of guitar making. Additionally, in 1989, an earthquake in Santa Cruz caused significant damage to the downtown area, including the Santa Cruz Guitar Company. The company also faced financial challenges during the recent pandemic, with a decline in sales and difficulty in calculating their Gross Processing Margin and inventory.


In 1989, the Santa Cruz Guitar Company received assistance from the SBDC in obtaining a loan to recover from the earthquake. More recently, the company received support from SBDC counselors, including Steven Roth and Larry Hebert, in navigating financial relief alternatives, assistance with the EIDL program process, and insight on bookkeeping and inventory management.


As a result of the SBDC’s support, the Santa Cruz Guitar Company achieved a $300,000 increase in sales in 2022 and increased their full-time staff by 4. The company was also approved for the COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Program for $220,000 and the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan for $160,000. Richard plans to continue improving the business and offering a remarkable product and experience to customers, while also maintaining the company’s values of sustainability and ethicality.

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