Danny Vo left his home in Vietnam to settle in Southeast, Louisiana to get in on the lucrative fishing industry. Vo’s uncle welcomed him and gave him a job as a deckhand on the family’s commercial shrimp vessel. Vo spent the next seven years learning and mastering the industry so much that he was able to purchase his own vessel. From there the rest is shrimp history. Vo started his own business, Cam Ranh Bay, LLC, because learning how to harvest shrimp and operate a vessel the American way was easy for Vo considering where he originated. However, being able to successfully run and maintain the business has been the hard part.
Vo came to the Louisiana Small Business Development Center (LSBDC) of Greater New Orleans and Bayou Region after Hurricane Katrina. At the time, the LSBDC was the only non-profit consulting organization that had experienced consultants available to assist the fisheries. With guidance and education from LSBDC consultants, Thoai Nguyen and Sandy Nguyen, Dany Vo’s business has seen a lot of recent growth with steady sales increase every year despite several hurricanes following Katrina as well as the devastating BP Oil Spill. Although there were language barriers, the LSBDC and its bilingual consultants have been successful at helping Vo with all aspects of his business including business and financial planning, risk management and disaster planning and emergency response. The LSBDC has helped Vo accumulate approximately $194,594 in capital, with $60,000 being received from an SBA loan. Additionally, Vo received compensation as a result of the BP Oil Spill. Through the LSBDC’s counsel, Vo enjoys a “successful commercial fishing business” with his wife and four children.
“The LSBDC has played an integral part of my success,” Vo said.
LSBDC Business Consultant Sandy Nguyen said Vo has really been able to benefit from the LSBDC services.
“Vo really took advantage of what we offer and that’s what it’s all about,” Sandy Nguyen said. “We’ve been working with him for a number of years and he still comes to us for guidance.”