January Spotlight winner claims to have what competitors don’t

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PUEBLO – The recipient of the January Spotlight on Local Business award, Patterson Plumbing and Heating, says his company has something his competitors don’t have, and it has helped his business accomplish the goal of being superior customer service role models for the community.
When asked why consumers should choose his business instead of a chain or a competitor, Rick Patterson, Owner of Patterson Plumbing and Heating, explained, “We don’t claim to have the best price. We claim to have the best service and we stand behind the work that we do. What our competitors don’t have, that we have, is our people.”  Patterson stated, “Our people are what make the difference. That’s what makes us special, our staff, it’s not me.”
Patterson said it was hard to explain but humbly went on, “When you’re around my office, you hear no foul language, everyone is polite and everyone is a team. On top of that, is what we have stood for since the early 90’s. We do criminal background checks on everyone that works for us. We do ongoing drug-testing. We have a high-level of employment standards that many others in the industry can’t match. We try to give the best possible benefits to our people and their families and offer them competitive pay. Our staff really value the position and protect it.”
The second-generation, local small business owner was recognized as the recipient of the January Spotlight on Local Business award at a Pueblo Board of County Commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday, January 17, 2018.
Patterson’s father, James (Jim) Patterson was encouraged to start his own business by the customers he serviced as a plumber working for another company. So, in 1984 he began Patterson Plumbing & Heating to expand the customer service he was known for.
In the early 80’s, Patterson was searching for work based on relationship building. He was working in the insurance industry at a time when insurance sales were becoming more about who could offer the best price and not about who could offer the best level of service. A few years later, Patterson rode along with his father to learn more about what he did every day. After seeing his father do everything he could to provide the best possible customer service, he realized the relationship-building he had been looking for was right under his nose.
“Our eagerness to solve a problem, it’s what gets us up every day. We just can’t afford to lose our staff,” Patterson said.
Six years ago, Patterson Plumbing and Heating nearly had to shut down the business after suffering a fatality of one of their own team members while on the job. Patterson not only lost his son-in-law, but a key member of his staff, which significantly hindered his company.
“During that time, we economically hit bottom,” Patterson explained, “One of our biggest accomplishments was surviving.  I started to rely on team members and promote managers - my father would say that I took this company to new heights, but I’m watching my team take it even further.”
Growing the company and their customer base, Patterson said that they share a goal with Pueblo County to generate local business and revenue. Patterson said more than 75 percent of Patterson Plumbing and Heating's revenue is locally generated and more than 75 percent of its’ workforce also resides in Pueblo County.
Patterson Plumbing and Heating is currently located at 1010 Aspen Place in Pueblo. Patterson also owns a Re-Bath franchise, Southern Colorado Kitchens and Southern Colorado Top Shop (specializing in countertops).
Patterson also enjoys opportunities to give back. He said the businesses endeavors to stay politically and religiously neutral. Patterson said one of the most enjoyable recent projects he was a part of was in Arizona this past year, where he and several other Re-Bath franchise owners built more than a half-dozen beds for foster kids. Even if a child was transferred to a different home or out of the foster system, the bed was the child’s possession and it stayed with them.
The Spotlight on Local Business Award program was launched in July 2017 by the Pueblo County Buy Local Advisory Board with the goal of bringing awareness of the diverse retail and service companies that the community has to choose from when making buying decisions.
The Buy Local Advisory Board randomly chose the January Spotlight on Local Business winner. Names of the previous nominees were also included in January’s drawing.
The Buy Local Advisory Board has a continual nomination process; applications will be accepted at any time. Nominations can be made by independent businesses themselves or on behalf of an independent business at www.pueblocounty.us/buy-local.
CONTACT:  Business owners, and the general public may contact Pueblo County Economic Development Specialist Susan Fries for more information at 583-6321 or friess@pueblocounty.us.  Media seeking additional information are asked to contact Pueblo County Community Information Manager Paris Elliott at 719-252-8550 or elliottp@pueblocounty.us.