Edited by Rob Potter
BRIDGEVILLE March 28, 2006 The Sullivan County Partnership continues to pledge ongoing support for small business and main street entrepreneurship in the county.
The Sullivan County Partnership topped off the month of February with FirBrook Flies, which recently received approval for a Sullivan Investments Loan of $25,000.
FirBrook Flies, a seasonal fly-fishing specialty shop in Livingston Manor, has been supplying fishing enthusiasts with custom fly fishing peripherals since 2002.
Owner Rich Bradley has been an avid fly-fisherman for many years and serves as a board member of the Catskill Fly Fishing Museum. His excellent understanding of his customer base inspired him to manufacture what has become well known in the fishing arena as the Bradley Reel.
We are beginning to see more and more eco-tourist related businesses seeking our assistance, said Marc Baez, President and CEO of the Sullivan County Partnership. As a result, specialty niche businesses are being created
many on our rural main streets.
Bradley began the design of this reel in his home in Willowemoc. He chose to move the business into a larger location on Main Street in Livingston Manor to enable him to produce far more Bradley Reels and still provide a service to visiting fisherman and tourists.
In 2005, the new fly-fishing reel, which is designed and manufactured by FirBrook Flies, gained nationwide attention and was mentioned in an article about Livingston Manor in The New York Times.
As a result, sales stepped up remarkably. Bradley, along with both part-time workers and an intern from a local high school, manufactured the reel which retails for $295 to $400 each. FirBrook Flies produced more than 100 reels in 2005 and plans to produce at least 140 in 2006.
The Bradley Reel is distributed through five distributors in the United States and has been exported around the globe.
With the assistance of the Sullivan Investments Loan, FirBrook Flies will undergo some expansion, which includes the hiring of one full-time and one part-time employee.
Thanks to the Sullivan County Partnership, we are expanding our business to meet the needs of our reel manufacturing. The equipment has been delivered and we are working to ready both the manufacturing and retail side for opening day on April 1, Bradley commented.
Though FirBrook Flies is a seasonal business, the Bradley Reel production is year-round. Demand for reels continues in other areas of the world where fly-fishing is less subject to seasonal patterns.
For more information on FirBrook Flies, please log on to: www.firbrookflies.com or call 439-4046.