BTC Envelopes & Printing: Customer Success Story

by admin
The SmartBiz team was privileged to work with Andrew Magnus, founder of BTC Envelopes and Printing, LLC (r) in 2017. Magnus received an SBA loan through a SmartBiz partner bank to consolidate high-interest debt, upgrade his computers, and hire a brand new employee.Magnus was happy to talk to us five years after the pandemic to find out how his business had been able to grow and pivot in an uncertain economic environment.


Magnus, a Jamaican-born American citizen who completed high school and college at the age of 15, Magnus is now a successful professional. Magnus’s drive to excel has enabled him to achieve his goals personally and professionally.

Magnus founded BTC Printing and Envelopes (r) after years of working in the paper and printing industry.

Magnus’ story is one of a proactive businessman who has expanded his company.


SmartBiz – What has the business done since 2017?

Andrew Magnus We grew our revenue by 15 to 20% each year, and organically spread the word about us. BTC has had a great year every year until 2020. Our revenue dropped by 50 percent when our customers shut down because of the pandemic.


SB How did you deal with the financial aspects of such a huge revenue loss?

AM During the pandemic 41% of Black and Brown-owned businesses closed their doors and never returned. I seized every opportunity that presented itself to me in order to get my business back on track. Our landlord was gracious enough to give us a little break when we were getting behind on our rent. To keep afloat I cashed in my 401k and borrowed from my life insurance. This kept us afloat and I did not have to lay off anyone because of the borrowing.

I also qualified for two loans. Through business contacts, I also was able to connect with the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund CDFI Fund and receive a pandemic grant of $30,000

Our branding increased by 85%, despite the loss of income. I searched for ways to improve myself and my company.

You mentioned that you had taken the 8-week Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses ™ course in 2014. Have you taken part in any other continuing education programs?

AM : During the pandemic I went back to school. I filled out a lot of forms! I signed up for UPMC Supplier Diversity and Inclusion Program (tm), which supports minority, women-owned and disadvantaged business. I completed the 8-week “How to Be a Better Chief Executive Officer” online course.

I have also taken the Initiative for a Competive Inner City (tm) Program, which offers the know-how for sustainable economic growth and job creation.

I also participated in the Omicelo cares 7 Pillars for Sustainable Business(tm), Accelerator. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center was trained by this 3rd-party organization. The final reward was an updated website, which boosted our SEO without costing BTC.

SB : How have you expanded since our last conversation?AM The big news is BTC has acquired Imprints Unlimited Inc. (r), a well-known minority-owned Philadelphia firm that’s been around for 30 years.

I bought the business from my mentor. He played a key role in elevating minority owned businesses, pushing the City Council, the Mayor, and former United States senator Arlen Speter to ensure that businesses were placed into minority entrepreneurs’ hands. BTC and Imprints Unlimited re-located to a large, open office with big windows that offer a great view of downtown Philadelphia. We did not have to do any additional marketing or sales activities because Imprints Unlimited (r) already had customer contracts. The passive income proved to be very useful.

SB: You said that your brand has been strengthened over the last few years. How did you elevate your business to a new level?

AMThe Comcast Rise(r), program was created in order to invest into minority-owned business dealing with ongoing impacts of pandemics, social unrest and environmental events. They promised to support 13,000 entrepreneurs across the country by the end 2022, and I was selected early in the program. The company helped me create a 30 second commercial that is very glossy and sharp. It’s ours to use. I chose five zip codes and a lot of people saw it. It was even shown on CNN and MSNBC. It was encouraging to see my business and name on TV when I was feeling down.

A local TV station spent some time filming our operations at the end. In 2022, we were featured in 30 second clips for the entire month of Black History Month. We had a 30-second clip that was used in a presentation by the University of Pennsylvania to highlight minority vendors.


SB Where are you now?

AM :The Last Man Standing Syndrome is now happening and we are doing well. We recovered all we had lost in 2020 by 2021, and things are now moving forward. The steps I took made me pick up my head and improve things. The website works well. As we are ranking higher in SEO, we are getting new business from people that we have never heard of. It’s great that my son is working with me. As we strive to reach a million-dollar benchmark, the positives are starting to emerge.


SB: Thank you for your time. We are so proud to have been a part of your success. BTC and you both have the best of luck.

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