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Success Stories


Clay Coyote is a gallery and pottery studio located in the heartland of Minnesota. In addition to a gallery space that showcases artists from across the country, it is also home to a small business incubator for emerging ceramic artists. Clay Coyote is best known for their flameware - a type of pottery that you can cook with on direct heat.

Owner Morgan Baum has been a loan client of the Southwest Initiative Foundation, an SBA microlender, since 2016. She shared that she gets so much from them more than a loan, including help from financial experts, filing taxes and more.

At the end of 2019, the business was thriving with seven employees. It had just completed a 100 day pop-up at Mall of America that was great for their business. Baum was also cooking with the pottery on WCCO TV to get new business and doing other things to drive up demand. Then, just as they finished up at the MOA and were catching their breath to get ready for the busy summer season... Read More

Business Name: Advanced Design Contracting
Business Owners Name: Foster Hackett III
Year Started: 2008
Number of Employees (including the owner): 20
Business Specialty: roofing, sheet metal, and custom sheet metal fabrication
Business Type (LLC, C-corp, etc): LLC
Address: 9250 Isanti St NE, Blaine, MN 55449
Phone: 651-340-1164
Social Media Links:
My certifications are DBE, MBE,SBE, TBG, Central Cert, Sec. 3, and 8a - Latino

Minority-Owned Roofing Company Adds Competitive Edge with SBA Programs



Advanced Design Contracting is a construction company known for installing roofing systems in commercial construction, historical renovation, and executive buildings. It is a union shop that self-performs its contracts, which means its employees do all the work it bids on,... Read More

Founded in 2000, EXB Solutions provides systems engineering and embedded software development services for safety and mission-critical projects in the aerospace, defense, and medical technology industries. Its team of over 100 professional engineers create software solutions that have helped fly successful space missions, enhanced patients’ lives through innovative medical devices, and advanced commercial flight systems for safer travel. 

When Veteran Chris Schwartzbauer started working for the company early in 2012, it was as a consultant assisting with marketing and strategic planning to increase sales.  Based on what they observed, the owners of the company soon offered Schwartzbauer the role of CEO to reinvigorate the company. After helping it grow at a compound annual growth rate of twenty-seven percent since he started, when the owners approached Schwartzbauer with the opportunity to fulfill his own vision for the company, he decided to dive in and buy... Read More

Craig Samborski, owner of Draw Events, started 2019 with big plans already in action to produce events around the country. The company annually produces the Tall Ships Festival in Duluth, Minn. and is also the owner of the world's largest rubber duck, which travels the world for festivals.

Just before the pandemic, Samborski had five festivals scheduled, with websites built, tickets sold, advertisements bought, and more.  Then COVID-19 hit and, like many other business owners, he didn’t know how long it would last. As the pandemic persisted, all of Draw Events’ festivals needed to be canceled. Samborski needed to figure out how he would survive the pandemic and have the funding needed to restart when things opened back up.

Turning to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Draw Events received an Economic Injury Disaster Loan in August 2020, as well as an EIDL Advance. Those funds helped it survive last year and will continue to... Read More