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Small Business

Managing Your Business

The Cone That Held a Beauty Business Hostage

In July 2014, the unexpected happened to Karen Behnke and her cosmetics business, Juice Beauty.

While Juice Beauty was busy securing its largest order ever from a huge national retailer, a labor dispute on the West Coast was about to cause a huge problem for the beauty business.

The labor dispute began when the contracts between a union representing 20,000 dockworkers and an association representing terminal operators and shipping lines in 29 West Coast ports expired on June 30, 2014. With dockworkers unhappy about the new labor contract being proposed, they began slowing down their productivity levels. To make matters worse, delivery trucks entering the port were now faced with traffic cones, stopping them in their tracks. The event, which journalists aptly named “The West Coast Port Slowdown," was expected to last five to seven days as negotiations continued, but as days turned into months, a resolution still seemed an ocean away.

For business owners across the country, like Karen, who rely on this port to receive their packaging from overseas, this slowdown meant serious trouble. As the holiday season was fast approaching and a huge holiday order was looming, Karen had to find an alternative way to import her packaging from overseas, or risk losing her revenue and potentially, her reputation. With time running out, Karen learned that the only way to get her packaging across the Pacific was through air shipping. Although seven times more expensive than regular shipping, Karen knew it had to be done.

Thankfully, Karen banks with Chase for Business. With a complete view of Juice Beauty's finances, she knew she had options to fund the air shipping and a relationship with one of the most recognizable names in banking. In fact, her Chase relationship gave her the credibility she needed to contract with an air shipper in short order, her confidence in her finances allowed her to assess and manage her cash flow such that she could airship her order in less than 24 hours. As she reports here, she was able to produce her product, meet her store demand and stock shelves just in time for the holidays.

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