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Success Stories

Situation

Little Falls, a small rural town in central Minnesota on the Mississippi River, may not seem the most obvious place for “Minnesota’s one-stop baby shop,” but that’s how Adelle Starin describes her business. In 2007 as a new mom herself, Adelle struggled to find high-quality baby products in rural Minnesota. In 2013, after doing years of research, she took the leap to open a small storefront in Little Falls. She had started selling at small craft fairs but within the first year doubled projections.

Solution

As Baby’s on Broadway continued to grow, Adelle sought out SBA resources to help her. She began to work with the Entrepreneur Fund, an SBA Community Advantage and Microlender, to expand her storefront by acquiring the toy store next door in 2016. From start to finish, she shared, “The process was seamless, and the Entrepreneur Fund understood my business and what I was going through.”

Adelle also worked closely with the SBA-powered Women’s... Read More

Situation

When Tobias Flood and Mark Eiden met in college in 2014, where they were studying machine tooling technology, the pair quickly decided to start a business together.  Luckily for them, the college connected them with SBA resource partner, the Central Region Small Business Development Center. Ahead of the curve, the SBDC helped them develop cash flow projections and a business plan before they’d even graduated.

Moving from Saint Cloud south to Winsted, Minn. the SBDC made a warm handoff to SBA microlender, the Southwest Initiative Foundation, as Flood and Eiden continued their entrepreneurial journey. 

Solution

In 2017, Flood and Eiden began setting up shop to bring Metal Trade Solutions to life.  With help from SWIF, they received an SBA-backed microloan, which they used as gap financing to purchase their first machines.  After they paid off the first round of funding, SWIF helped them get a bigger SBA-backed loan to expand their equipment and... Read More

SBA Resource Partner Helps Reclaimed Wood Artists Build Bigger Dreams

Situation

“Big dreamers” is how Anna and Nathanael Bailey describe themselves. The Baileys are wood artists and co-owners of Bailey Builds. Using SBA programs and services, the Entrepreneur Fund stepped in to keep their big dreams alive when traditional financing fell through during the early days of the pandemic.

Bailey Builds is located in a revitalized 1930s-era gas station nestled in the historic Spirit Valley neighborhood of West Duluth. The shop features handcrafted mosaics made by the Baileys, artwork from over 40 local artists, a gallery, and small venue event space, along with an Airbnb upstairs.

In early 2020, the Baileys recognized that they had outgrown their space and secured a rental workspace for an expanded woodworking shop. However, soon after they moved in, a major roof leak was discovered. That is when a former funeral home went up for sale just a couple blocks away... Read More

Situation

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

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