Lorenzo Myrick’s role as an entrepreneur began when he left his long-time job in corporate finance to launch APS Facility Maintenance. “I started this business with a cell phone and a briefcase,” said Myrick. “I did my first interviews in my mom’s restaurant.” As his business grew, he saw an opportunity to evolve the business to a full-service facility maintenance and landscaping provider. But for this growth, he needed capital and confidence.
With the help of Pathway Lending, a Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital (DCC) recipient, APS secured two term-loans and a line of credit, allowing them to bid differently and invest in technology to improve and grow their business. “We won three contracts right after we secured our line of credit with Pathway Lending. It gave us the confidence to bid differently because we know someone has our back,” said Myrick. “Other funders wanted to put us in a box and didn’t take the time to understand our business model, but Pathway did. We’re not out here by ourselves, we have someone to lean on.” Not only does APS now have an impressive fleet and a warehouse full of equipment, they have invested in automation.
Myrick credits his success to his willingness to ask for help, available through Pathway’s technical assistance and mentoring programs. From this experience, Myrick is building an environment of mentorship for his employees and giving them space to “safely fail.”
“Any employee who passes through here leaves better than they came,” Myrick said. “Some even go off to start their own businesses. We are no nonsense, straight to the point, and give them the tools they need to be successful for us, which happen to be the tools they need to be successful in life. Their success is our success.”
(Date of loan: Oct. 2016. Date of story publication: Dec. 2016)