For eight years Tanya Holland, owner of Brown Sugar Kitchen, has grown her restaurant in a disinvested community in Oakland, CA. As a business owner, it has been her personal mission to hire and train employees within the community, serving a vital role as a leader and role model for how others in the community can start and grow successful community-based businesses.
Yet throughout the business growth, Tanya has faced anemic cash flow performance, taken on high-dollar loans, and struggled with a limited inventory as a result of a lack of affordable working capital. So when she approached Main Street Launch (formerly OBDC Small Business Finance) for help with her business, the CDFI immediately recognized that in addition to providing financing, they could support Tanya with one-on-one coaching.
“We helped Tanya by working through her business plan with her, and counseled her on cash flow management, and developing a financial projection lens,” said Robert Lattimore, Senior Vice President of Main Street Launch.
In addition to providing technical assistance, Main Street Launch—a recent Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital award recipient—provided a $203,000 term loan that met all of her major business needs. “We refinanced high-interest business loans, which improved her cash flow by 25 percent. The working capital we provided facilitated the hiring of five new employees, and added inventory capacity to support anticipated growth in sales revenue,” said Lattimore.
By working with Main Street Launch, Tanya’s business is now more prepared for growth. “Going forward, we agreed to work together to work together to build business relationships with local banking institutions that can meet the future needs of her restaurant business,” explained Lattimore. “Her success empowers us all!”
(Date of loan: 2016. Date of story publication: 2017)