RIC Flooring, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Jason was an army veteran that served in Iraq, Kuwait, and Syria. After returning to the U.S., he knew a regular 9-5 wasn’t going to be the right fit. He wanted to work for himself, and began the journey as a flooring installer contractor. He quickly recognized there weren’t many flooring options in his community beyond big box stores, and the seed was planted for opening his own specialty flooring company. He worked with the local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to develop a business plan.
Like many first-time small business owners, Jason experienced challenges when it came time to secure the financing needed to start his business. He didn’t yet have a proven track record as a business owner, and he was low on collateral to secure a loan. After being turned away by a large national bank, and he started to worry that his business was too small for a bank to care about. “I felt like they didn’t want to take the time to work through the process with me,” Jason said.
Solution and Results
The SBDC referred Jason to a VITAL team member, who recognized the opportunity to finance his vision with an SBA 7a loan through a VITAL bank partner. Jason was approved for the loan, which he used to fund the start-up expenses of his business. This included a build-out of leased space, the purchase of furniture, fixtures, and equipment, and working capital for start-up operations. He successfully launched RIC Flooring, which held its grand opening in January of 2020! He expects to add 5-10 jobs in the first year. The business also offers veterans and first responders a 20% discount.