Originally published as Case Study No. 32 of the Lubin Business School Case Studies series.

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The sapphire shop business is an extension of John Tollison's lifelong avocation towards gemstones in general and sapphires in particular. It is a blend of both decisions concerning the expanding financial strains of the business, with two alternative sources of funds to be analyzed and evaluated, and personal household decisions concerning the entrepreneur's family. Either financial source will expand the firm's ability to purchase additional inventory of gemstones, a key component to growth in sales, profits, and cash flows. However, there are limits to Mr. Tollison's ability to continue these growth initiatives "without giving up his day job." If this decision is made in the affirmative, his household income stream will be reduced, just a few years before college costs will need to be met.