After 35 years in the construction industry, Terry Blake wanted a career change. So in 2010, after researching Cell Phone Repair Franchise Systems Inc. (CPR®), he became a CPR® franchisee. Three years later, he now operates three stores, manages another franchisee in Greenwood, and has plans to grow his business throughout central Indiana. His success to date, however, would not have been possible without a microloan from Business Ownership Initiative (BOI), a business unit of the Indy Chamber.
Terry opened his first store in 2011. Two years later, with hopes to expand, he realized he needed additional financial support – support not typically provided to his type of business by banks. As a "cash-basis business," with no cash receivables, Terry needed another source of financial support. His attorney and accountant both suggested BOI and their microloan program. Microloan programs have become increasingly important to the business community since the economic collapse in 2008 that put more restrictions on how banks can serve small business loans.
The microloan came at a critical time for Terry. As the demand for on-site repair of cell phones, iPods, game systems, and "everything in between" continued to grow, Terry saw an opportunity to expand his inventory and open a second store. The microloan was crucial – and what helped him grow his business.
As the terms and agreements of Terry's first BOI microloan come to a close, he anxiously awaits the opportunity to apply for another. With the help of BOI's microlending program, Terry – and other small business owners can receive assistance in funding to support their success.
BOI's microloan program was established in 2012 and offers a variety of loan products to small business owners in the Indianapolis region. A recent partnership with JPMorgan Chase Foundation has created a $2 million microloan fund, making it the largest in the state and positioning the Indy Chamber as the nation's only chamber of commerce in the country with such a large microloan fund.