Stories

River Dog Paddle Co.

River Dog Paddle Co.
Microlender:
Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs
Impact:
Funds were used for initial inventory, remodeling, and fixtures in the store.
Location:
Rome, GA
Loan Amount:
n/a
The River Dog Paddle Co. was started by Mike and Connie Sams. The business is an outpost rental shop that provides paddle boarding lessons and gear for the outdoors enthusiast. The name of their shop evolved from their passion for ...
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Sweet Joy Ice Cream

Sweet Joy Ice Cream
Microlender:
Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs
Impact:
Financing a start-up business for a woman-owned MBE.
Location:
Canton, GA
Loan Amount:
n/a
Growing up, Talia Holmes spent summers in the kitchen with her mother and grandmother making homemade ice cream. As an adult, she worked for different companies, and when both passed away, she decided it was time to follow her vision ...
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Duluth Coffee Company

Duluth Coffee Company
Microlender:
Entrepreneur Fund
Impact:
Startup business equipment and facility build-out.
Location:
Duluth, MN
Loan Amount:
n/a
The Entrepreneur Fund assisted Duluth Coffee Company expand from an idea for a coffee business, to the business becoming the outstanding and thriving coffee shop and distributor that it is today. Entrepreneur Fund provided Duluth Coffee Company’s founder, Eric Faust ...
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Cool J’s Apparel

Cool J's Apparel
Microlender:
Justine PETERSEN
Impact:
Served a retail need for women in an underserved, rural-adjacent area.
Location:
Springfield, IL
Loan Amount:
n/a
Cool J’s Apparel is a woman and minority-owned business that held its grand opening of its bricks and mortar store on May 28, 2020 and had gotten started a year previously through online sales. Owner Toni Hopkins created this business ...
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Sweet V’s Restaurant & Ice Cream

Sweet V's Restaurant & Ice Cream
Microlender:
Center For Rural Affairs
Impact:
Expansion of a start-up business into a bricks and mortar location.
Location:
Scottsbluff, NE
Loan Amount:
Less than $15,000
Sweet V’s in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, is more than just a local eatery. It’s one man’s dream come true, and it’s turned into a family-run success. Mark Villagrana always wanted to run his own business, and when the opportunity presented itself ...
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Fired Up Fitness

Fired Up Fitness
Microlender:
Center For Rural Affairs
Impact:
Start-up capital assistance for a small-town business.
Location:
Fullerton, NE
Loan Amount:
n/a
Living in a larger community meant Megan Zoucha and her husband, Will, were used to having certain amenities nearby. While they appreciated the convenience, they opted to move to Fullerton, Nebraska (population 1,440) to enjoy the slow pace of rural ...
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Buffalo Creek Coffee

Buffalo Creek Coffee
Microlender:
Center For Rural Affairs
Impact:
Start-up business finance assistance that has resulted in a new small town business.
Location:
Chappell, NE
Loan Amount:
Less than $15,000
Even with full-time jobs and full lives, Brandon and Lisa Hixon wanted to contribute more to their hometown of Chappell, Nebraska (population: 871). “We wanted to give something to the town that we thought would make it special,” said Lisa ...
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GSD Home Improvement

GSD Home Improvement
Microlender:
Coastal Enterprises
Impact:
Immigrant-owned business start-up assistance that has created local jobs, with three people on payroll and four subcontractors.
Location:
Portland, ME
Loan Amount:
n/a
In the midst of a global pandemic that has many small business owners focused on saving their existing businesses, there are still entrepreneurs looking to start or grow a new one. One such enterprising individual is Aury Souvenir, owner of ...
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Wandering Goat Soap

Wandering Goat Soap
Microlender:
Coastal Enterprises
Impact:
Financing for business expansion and construction.
Location:
Union, ME
Loan Amount:
n/a
Since 2013, Tanya Rudy and her mother Cheryl have been making handcrafted soaps from their family farm in Midcoast Maine. This mother-daughter team located in Union makes their soaps in small batches and uses only the finest quality ingredients. They ...
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