Accion is thrilled to have the support of community organizations like USAA in Nevada, whose generous contributions allow Accion to provide program support and outreach to veterans and active military personnel across the state. Martin Davidson, owner of Simply Scuba in Las Vegas is just one of the many Accion clients USAA’s partnership supports.
In 2009, Martin was working as a scuba instructor at a store in Arizona. Seeing Martin’s passion, his boss suggested he consider opening his own scuba business. So he started dreaming, crunching numbers and drafting a business plan. Life intervened, and Martin put his plan on hold for a corporate job in Las Vegas, but in 2015, he decided it was time to dig out his old scuba shop business plan and begin working toward his dream of launching his own store. Earlier this year, he and his partner, Carolyn, opened the doors to their Las Vegas–based business, Simply Scuba.
From the beginning, Martin knew he had a long road ahead of him, but as a Marine Corps veteran, he wasn’t daunted by the challenge. “My military background taught me how to plan things out in greater detail than many other traditional jobs would have. It also gave me the will to keep going when obstacles presented themselves,” he says.
The journey from idea to reality has been lengthy. Martin first submitted his business plan to two banks, but neither were able approve his loan. Fortunately, one of the lenders believed in his idea and knew who could help him: Accion. After connecting with an Accion loan officer, Martin was able to access the capital he needed to purchase his initial inventory and an industrial air compressor for scuba tanks, a truly vital piece of equipment. Otherwise, he says, “you’re not considered a dive store.”
As an active member of the business community, Martin regularly shares startup advice with other Las Vegas entrepreneurs and shows his support by attending local grand openings. Today, Martin is looking forward to his first scuba season as a business owner and is excited to prove that a scuba store can thrive in the desert. Accion is proud to have Martin as a client and grateful to USAA for helping us propel the dreams of entrepreneurs like him across Nevada.