Persistence and Assistance Pay Off for All Washed Up
Persistence has a way of paying off, especially when persistence is paired with assistance. Shantae Holmes, owner of All Washed Up Laundry Services, knows this first-hand and has experienced that pay off many times in her entrepreneurial journey. Most recently, it’s been through her sticking with the SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program and getting assistance from SBA’s Minnesota Business Opportunity Specialist Shaun McClary.
The 8(a) Program is a business assistance program for small-disadvantaged businesses. It offers a broad scope of assistance to firms that are owned and controlled at least 51% by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals.
When Holmes entered the program in 2016, her company had already received several government contracts but as an independent she hadn’t set up her pricing structure to meet the challenges that inflation and COVID would bring. In 2021 when her contract with Camp Ripley, in Little Falls, Minn. was up for a new bid, Holmes reached out to McClary for some extra one-on-one assistance that the 8(a) program provides.
Working together, Holmes and McClary were able to get the Camp Ripley laundry contract enrolled as an SBA 8a set aside. This allowed Holmes to better negotiate a price that was more in line with industry standards and inflation. Additionally, now that the contract is in the 8(a) program, renewals of the contract will continue to be set-aside for small-disadvantaged business unless it is released by SBA. And as an 8(a) set aside contract, there’s less chance that in the future it will be outsourced to vendors outside the 8a program.
Holmes persistence and McClary’s assistance through the SBA’s 8(a) program really paid off for the employees of All Washed Up too. The new contract allowed Holmes to increase her employee’s wages.
Of the help she received, Holmes said, “I’m so appreciative of Shaun’s efforts of my behalf.
It was his ability to know the 8a program rules and regulations that held other agencies accountable to help my minority owned small business receive government contracts.
More than that though, if I ever need advice, he is always there to assist me. He helps make sure I am making the best business decisions and taught me how to understand my pricing better to strengthen my profits. I’m an enthusiastic, big picture person and Shaun helped me fine tune the details.”