Cory Gliege is a self-described “farm kid from Canada.” His business, True North Landscaping, LLC is located on Indianapolis’ near east side. In the last ten years, Gliege says business has “taken off” thanks to new residents and businesses downtown and in nearby neighborhoods.
“We started with me and one other guy in a truck,” Gliege says. “Now we’ve got a good team; six - eight year-around and 10+ when we hit peak.”
True North is moving two miles closer to downtown and becoming easier to see. The company bought and remodeled a new headquarters near the I-70 and Rural/Keystone interchange (at 2030 North Oxford Street, one-half block east of Rural off Mass Ave. and south of the interchange). True North obtained financing from the U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loan program through Wayne Bank & Trust and Indiana Statewide Certified Development Corporation.
True North expects to be welcoming customers to its new location in late March. Until then, it remains open at 4821 Massachusetts Avenue.
Indiana Statewide CDC works with local lenders to provide SBA 504 loans to owners of small businesses. SBA 504 loans can give small business owners long-term, fixed rate financing similar to commercial loan terms available for large companies.
Gliege says the financing rate and term were crucial. “Spring and Summer are our harvest, it’s like farming reversed. We are cash poor in the winter and cash strong in the summer,” he says. “We know what monthly payment we can sustain. With the 504 loan, we were able to get a low, fixed interest rate for a long term that helps with our monthly payment. We put only 10 percent rather than the 20 percent down that a conventional loan requires.”
True North’s new location will save fuel and driving labor over the course of a season due to its proximity to the I-70/Keystone interchange and several major corridors, Gliege says. “We’ll also have great outside storage and display areas for seasonal materials such as plants and mulch,” he says.
Wayne Bank’s Kyle Clark says, “The SBA 504 program is a great fit for companies like True North. Cory selected the 504 program over the SBA 7(a) loan. He does a good job running the company, and it has seen a lot of growth with the resurgence of downtown living and commercial development.”
Gliege arrived in Indianapolis as a seminary student and to work in neighborhood development. He started True North on weekends 16 years ago and within a few years it had shifted into his full-time work and focus.
Indiana Statewide CDC approved over $27 million in loans for 40 small businesses in 2015. The $27 million ranks first among Indiana lenders under the SBA 504 loan program. The 40 projects saved or created 508 jobs in Indiana (133 jobs are retained, 375 are new).
Indiana Statewide CDC has provided more than $463 million to 1,145 Indiana companies since 1983, creating or saving 26,500 jobs, and is the most prolific CDC in Indiana. Nationally, since Congress created the 504 program, SBA 504 loans have funded over $67 billion to more than 135,000 small businesses in the U.S. In turn, those small firms have created or retained over 2.1 million jobs.
Indiana Statewide CDC Executive Director Jean Wojtowicz says, “The SBA guarantees bonds sold privately to finance a portion of the loan. With the guarantee, we offer loan rates more favorable than conventional financing. SBA 504 loans help small businesses grow because borrowers may put as little as 10 percent down and receive a low, fixed interest rate for as long as 20 years.”
Wayne Bank & Trust is headquartered in Richmond, Indiana and has a growing presence in metropolitan Indianapolis.
True North Landscaping provides commercial and residential landscape installation and maintenance. Services include paver patios, water gardens, nursery sales and installation, natural stonework, turf-care, mulching, and more.