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In the late 1980s when Ray Barton joined what was then a small hair salon franchisor called Great Clips, he envisioned creating a hair care brand that would offer clients an affordable, high-quality hair care experience with strong customer service. In 1997, Barton sought the assistance of RFE Investments, an SBIC, to help him execute his vision and grow Great Clips from 800 salons to a vast network of more than 3000 franchises. RFE’s investment of $9 million bought out existing investors and gave Barton the freedom to pursue his vision for growth. Along the way, RFE offered strategic advice and the financial assistance he needed to reach his goals. During the 10 years that RFE was an investor in Great Clips, the company expanded from 800 franchises to 2300 franchises, adding about 15,000 jobs in the process.