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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Black Entrepreneurs Month: Richard Herron

Richard HerronConstruction Concern Inc.22916 Lyons Ave., Newhall(800) 479-1001 • Email: info@constructionconcern.comWebsite: constructionconcern.comFor many businesses, the last year with the government-imposed lockdowns has been the most challenging. But Richard Herron of Construction Concern Inc. in Newhall thinks of the Great Recession as his worst period.“Back in 2008 when the economy was crashing, people were losing their homes,” Herron said. “It was a desperate time and the construction industry, along with so many other businesses, took a severe beating. I saw a lot of my competition going out of business, which upset me greatly because I saw peoples’ dreams dying.“Through the grace of God, I managed to keep my team busy and get through one of the toughest economic times the country has ever faced,” he continued. “I realized a long time ago, one of the secrets to success is not quitting.”The pandemic of the last year hasn’t been nearly as bad on his business, which is a home- and business-improvement company. Many people quarantining at home decided to hire contractors to upgrade their houses, he explained.“Fortunately, we have been able to help those homeowners with those improvements and have been able to keep all employees on staff,” Herron said.He started Construction Concern in 1983, and it since has grown to 12 employees.

He said even as a youth he wanted to be in construction. He majored in structural engineering and worked for a large construction company, but he found he didn’t like the corporate structure, “knowing I could be a better leader than follower.”Starting a business was a bit scary. “I had a wife, three small children, a mortgage, car payments and a great deal of responsibility,” Herron said. “I started very small and kept my overhead as low as possible. After a lot of hard work and a few sleepless nights, I started to grow the business. And brick by brick, my company became what it is today.”The best part of being an entrepreneur? “I get to choose who I work with and who I work for. I have more responsibility, but I also have more liberty,” he said.He likens owning a business to raising a child. “You create life where none existed. You watch it grow, get bigger and stronger, becoming more self-sufficient. You rejoice in its accomplishments and suffer in its trials and tribulations.

“But the best part of owning my own business is that every day I make the world a better place, by helping property owners improve their investments.”He said that being African American has had both positive and negative effects. “Certain people choose to do business with you because of your race, and certain people choose not to do business with you because of your race. And for most people it doesn’t matter at all.”He said that the ability to be an entrepreneur is one of the greatest privileges this country has to offer. “To be your own leader, forge your own way and be judged by your accomplishments is a true measure of who you are.”And for those thinking about starting their own business, Herron offered this: “Find something you are passionate about and like to do.” He said entrepreneurship is “the most challenging and rewarding thing you will ever do.”He added: “If anyone is thinking of starting a business, it is important to establish your purpose. My purpose was never to make a lot of money. My purpose was to be of service, provide for my family, my employees and do quality work. Through that philosophy, I have been able to withstand the highs and lows of the economy for 37 years; and of course, through that hard work – the money will come.” – Charles Crumpley

Charles Crumpley
Charles Crumpley
Charles Crumpley has been the editor and publisher of the San Fernando Valley Business Journal since March 2016. In June 2021, it was named the best business journal of its size in the country – the fourth time in the last 5 years it won that honor. Crumpley was named best columnist – also for the fourth time in the last 5 years. He serves on two business-supporting boards and has won awards for his civic involvement. Crumpley, a former newspaper reporter, won several national awards and fellowships for his work, and he was a Fulbright scholar to Japan.

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