Shelenia and Rico Nelson, proud U.S. Air Force veterans, used to dream of making a better future for their family —especially their son, Cory, whose disability prevented him from working a meaningful job, outside of janitorial work. The couple decided to open a doughnut shop, which allow their son to work beyond what they ever dreamed he could and created an economic opportunity for the family.
“We wanted to give Cory more than what life was offering him,” Shelenia said. “LiftFund made that possible.”
Shelenia and Rico were frustrated when they visited several banks and weren’t able to qualify for a loan, but Heather, a Wells Fargo banker referred them to LiftFund. Banker referrals represent 34% of referrals to LiftFund.
Shelenia was able to qualify for a LiftFund loan with an SBA guaranty, which she used to purchase kitchen equipment and build out the cafe. Today, the Nelson family has expanded their shop to offer more than 40 doughnut varieties and Southern dishes, but they expect to continue empowering families and individuals.
“If it wasn’t for LiftFund, we wouldn’t be where we are now,” Shelenia said. “We are here to change lives and grow.”
LiftFund is a designated SBA 7a Community Advantage Lender. This program allows LiftFund to provide more capital to a business if they are startups, lack collateral or are located in designated communities. Under the SBA 7a CA pilot program, LiftFund has provided 133 loans totaling $17.2 million to startups, businesses that lack collateral, and are located in designated communities, since 2012.
We are here to give small businesses the Lift they need to succeed. Visit us today at liftfundstage.wpengine.com/loans.