Luverne business benefits from Southwest Initiative Foundation microloan program
Stacy Riphagen received loan assistance from the Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF) Microenterprise Loan Program for the start-up of her commercial and residential interior design/furniture and accessories business “Dragonfly” located at 206 East Main Street in downtown Luverne.
Riphagen has a certificate from the Sheffield School of Interior Design in New York. In 2010, she started a part-time business out of her home, Designs by Stacy, after the Furniture House in Luverne, where she worked for eight years closed. She had the opportunity to purchase a building and begin the business full-time.
With help from other local business owners including Lisa Ketterling of Creative Touch for custom painting, Steve and Cindy Heitkamp of Country Cupboards for the kitchen display, and Gene Aanenson for saving the distressed look of the floor, the building now retains much of its original character.
Dragonfly carries an exclusive line of American manufactured furniture, Norwalk out of Ohio, which features quick turnaround time for orders. The store also features accessories and lighting by Uttermost as well as other suppliers. Riphagen can be reached at 605-351-8827 to discuss interior design or furniture needs. You can also find Dragonfly on Facebook for more information.
The Foundation is pleased they were able to assist with bringing this business into downtown Luverne. Dragonfly is the only furniture store within 25 miles of Luverne, and also makes good use of a historic building on Main Street”.
Loan programs have been a key function of SWIF since its inception as a way to support communities and businesses throughout southwest Minnesota. In 2001, microlending was added to existing programs as a tool to support small businesses and people looking for self-employment opportunities by providing market-rate loans.
Microloan clients receive free technical assistance from SWIF staff—all who have personal business experience—to improve their business management skills, from business planning to reading financials to marketing and other training opportunities for the life of the loan.
This microloan program receives funding assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, contact SWIF at 800-594-9480, 320-587-4848 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Southwest Initiative Foundation is a single connection offering unlimited possibilities to grow and promote people, businesses, entrepreneurs and communities in rural southwest Minnesota. As a regional community foundation, SWIF has contributed more than $64 million through its grant and loan programs. SWIF has helped more than 630 businesses start or expand through its business finance programs, which have created or retained more than 8,000 jobs. SWIF has also established 16 Early Childhood Initiative coalitions, more than 50 Youth Energy Summit teams, 24 community foundations and more than 80 other funds. The Southwest Initiative Foundation is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To learn more, visit www.swifoundation.org.