Small Business Assistance Tool
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Small Business Success
A small business has a better chance of launching, growing and thriving when the owner uses small business assistance.
Bethany Smith Finds Support at Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center
Bethany Smith came to Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center in 2014 to take part in the “It’s Your Time” Program after seeing an article in the local paper. She says, “it was a direct answer to prayer” to find a program that addressed the specific needs of female entrepreneurs.
After writing a business plan and graduating from the program, she took LEAP (Local Entrepreneurs Attaining Prosperity) and Ignite business expansion programs. The center provided her with support, focus, and resources to assist in her growth and development. Lift Your Table® manufactures a product that lifts folding tables from seated height to counter height or higher; a product developed out of a need uncovered in their catering business where folding tables were simply too low to work from in a standing position.
Since founding B Team Solutions, Bethany has shattered goals every year. She has more than doubled her previous year’s sales each year she has been in business. The company is certified through WBENC and through the National Minority Supplier Development Council.
To date, the company has created nine jobs and with the assistance of an EIDL loan, was able to increase her business in profits and in units sold during the COVID 19 pandemic.
Parish Morris Secured Financing for His Business
Parish Morris is the owner of Document Security Solutions located in the City of Murrieta. As a veteran, a start-up and a minority business owner he was struggling. He first came to AmPac Business Capital for help securing financing for his business. He had credit challenges that made his business difficult for traditional bankers to fund.
AmPac worked with other small business resources to help Mr. Morris put together a business plan, his financial projections and improve his recordkeeping. After securing the loan from AmPac Business Capital, his business grew.
He has been awarded over $1M in government contracts and is growing his staffing past the current four employees. Remarkably, Mr. Morris did not stop there. He wanted to help other veterans and co-founded Veteran’s Business Action Committee, a group that works to promote entrepreneurial education, mentorship and resources to support local veterans. This effort earned him the 2018 Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year.
Karen Bell and Hippy Sister Soap Company
Karen Bell started her business, Hippy Sister Soap Company, LLC, in May 2016. In 2017 she participated in the “It’s Your Time” program, an entrepreneurial training program for women offered by Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center (CVWBC).
Karen, a former business owner with a background in nursing, spent many hours researching her product line of elegant, hand-made soaps and various skincare products made with organic, naturally-sourced ingredients.
Hippy Sister Soap Company products can now be found in spas, hotels, gift packages for major events, and even large resorts and country clubs. The products are sold online, in retail stores, and custom-made for events such as the BNP Paribas Open.
Karen attributes much of her success to the Coachella Valley Women’s Business Center. With a $55,0000 owner’s cash injection, she has parlayed her business far beyond her initial five-year goal of $60,000 to a projected year two gross to exceed six figures.
As her business continues to grow, Karen relies on contract labor but anticipates hiring two full-time employees by the end of 2018.
Erin Foates Seven Year Dream Comes True
In January 2011 Erin Foate found herself living back at home with her parents, after graduating from California State University, Fullerton, with a degree in business. She had no job, no car, and was living off what was left of her savings while her parents and (then) fiancé helped cover her bills. She had developed a business plan for a dog daycare and had pursued an initial start-up loan, but was turned down. It was then that she was referred to the Inland Empire Women’s Business Center (IEWBC).
Erin stated, “I didn’t understand why they would send me to the business center for classes when I had gone to school for business. But I went anyway, and it actually was the best place for me at the time. I met a lot of other women (and men) struggling like me to make their dream a reality. A majority of them had lost everything in recent years, and they were starting over. It gave me hope.”
Through the IEWBC, she started taking free and low-cost classes, meeting with experts, and talking regularly with a business counselor to make sure she was on the right track for her dog daycare plans. She was also introduced to other programs like the Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program of Community Action Partnership of Riverside County (CAP Riverside).
Through CAP Riverside’s IDA program, Erin attended financial capability and business-specific workshops that helped her grow personally and professionally. She was also able to meet her IDA savings goal and then receive the match to her savings, which formed the base of the capital injection she needed to qualify for an SBA loan.
So she revised her business plan one more time.
Seven-Year Dream Come True
With new plans to start a much smaller daycare and focus on in-home pet care rather than boarding, she set out to try again. This change allowed her to quickly find a building in a retail location where she could offer grooming, daycare, and training while still providing clients with in-home pet care and taxi service. Now that she had a building in mind, she went to CDC Small Business Finance in the hope of securing a loan.
Erin finally got the answer she had been waiting for: she was approved for an SBA micro loan. She opened the doors for her dog daycare business on June 16, 2014.
In Erin’s own words, “The IDA program has been a huge blessing in my life. I was able to grow my business because of it, and I will be forever grateful for that. Starting a business with very little money is almost impossible so programs like this really make all the difference to an entrepreneur.”
Have you been inspired by these entrepreneurs and ready to find help?
These entrepreneurs have utilized free and low-cost services from a local small business program. Locate the right resource for your current need and write your own small business success story.