Local business benefits from Southwest Initiative Foundation microloan program
Jenni Harris of Hutchfield Services, Inc., recently received loan assistance from the Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF) Microenterprise Loan Program towards the purchase of the commercial janitorial service portion of ProCare Services, Inc. in Cokato. Hutchfield Services will operate out of the current ProCare location at 14177 US Hwy 12, in Cokato, while ProCare Services will continue to operate as a complete residential and commercial restoration services business at the same location.
Harris has been managing the janitorial and cleaning portion of the business for current ProCare owners Dean and Lorna Mahlstedt since late spring of 2013. This enabled her to learn the business, meet the owners of the accounts being serviced, and understand what was needed to make the business grow and be successful with satisfied customers. Harris will be assisted in the business by her husband, Jason, who also works for ProCare. Jenni may be contacted at 320-626-3133 to inquire about services or a free estimate. Information can also be found online at www.hutchfield.com or http://www.hutchfield.com/.
SWIF also sponsored the business on the crowd-funding website www.KivaZip.org. Kiva originally supported start-up entrepreneurs in developing countries, but in recent years has expanded to support U.S. businesses. SWIF was the first Kiva Trustee able to sponsor entrepreneurs in Minnesota. Through Kiva, anyone can become a lender by investing as little as $5 to Hutchfield Services and hundreds of other small businesses throughout the U.S.
“SWIF is pleased to assist Jenni with the start up of her business,” said SWIF Program Coordinator Berny Berger. “This is a great opportunity for Jenni, and also great transition for Dean and Lorna, who have been looking for the right person to take over this portion of their business.”
SWIF Loan proceeds were used for the downpayment on the business purchase. Harris also received assistance from Bruce Thielman of the Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center in St. Cloud, who was instrumental in the development of her business plan.
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.