A Microloan Success Story!

What happens when an aspiring entrepreneur wants to launch their dream?  They write their business plan, find a venue, hire some employees and are ready to open their doors, right?  It’s not that easy.  What about money?  It takes an infusion of capital to launch a start-up.  Many entrepreneurs who are launching their business or expanding an existing one find it difficult to qualify for a business loan from a financial institution.  Without a proven track-record under their belt and/or established business credit, many financial institutions simply can’t take the risk on start-up loans for small businesses.  

Meet local entrepreneur Catherine Doll owner of Catherine Doll Clothing Fashion for Green Living,  a retail boutique in Sawyer, MI selling one-of-a-kind clothing created from repurposed fabric.  Doll opened her doors in 2004. Fast forward to 2009 where she experienced what many small business owners did, post-recession-business credit lines were drastically cut by the banks and interest rates climbed to 30% leaving Doll with mounting debt.  Not sure where she could secure financing to keep her business going, Doll contacted the Cornerstone Alliance Small Business Services team (CASBS).    She worked with the team to develop a business plan and financial projections to secure a loan from Cornerstone Alliance Microloan program to grow her business. 

Doll qualified for four separate Cornerstone Alliance microloans during a four year period, allowing her to expand her inventory and boost retail sales by having access to cash flow.  Earlier this year, Doll needed additional capital for her store.  The CASBS team discovered that due to her continuing growth and excellent credit she was ready for conventional financing with a traditional financial institution. 

“Catherine embodied the textbook microloan client” said Greg Vaughn, Cornerstone Alliance’s COO and VP, Business Development. “The ultimate goal of the Microloan Program is to get small businesses on solid ground and enable them to secure private sector financing.  Catherine Doll did exactly that and continues to grow and expand her business."

For more information on how you may qualify for a Cornerstone Alliance Microloan please contact Dubelsa Mata-Garcia at 269.925.6100 or via email at dmata@cstonealliance.org