HUTCHINSON, Minn. — Charity Sturges recently received a Bright Beginnings loan through Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) to make upgrades to her family-based child care, Charity’s Daycare, in Hutchinson.
Bright Beginnings is all about supporting the business of child care. This program is designed to provide capital and business education to home or center-based licensed child care providers in southwest Minnesota.
Loans up to $15,000 are available, and the funds can be used for a multitude of things–including licensing, curriculum, playground equipment, educational toys and materials, repairs, renovations, or upgrades, code requirements, start-up or expansion expenses. Sturges used the financing to add fencing to her backyard, which is near a wetland.
“I decided to pursue my long-time dream of running a child care business because I was working 12-hour shifts and missing out on a lot as my kids were growing up. I have always loved caring for kids, since my first babysitting job when I was 14 years old,” said Sturges, who is in her third year of business and continues to be at maximum capacity for her licensed child care slots.
“Child care in southwest Minnesota is in high demand, with an estimated 3,000 kids in the region who lack access to quality, affordable care. We’re thrilled to support Charity in her business goals as we work to create and retain child care slots for families,” said SWIF Economic Development Officer Jackie Turner.
Loan programs have been a key function of SWIF since its inception to support communities and businesses throughout southwest Minnesota. In 2001, microlending was added to existing programs as a tool to support small businesses and people looking for self-employment opportunities.
Microloan clients receive free technical assistance from SWIF staff to improve their business management skills. Areas of support include business planning and financials analysis, QuickBooks training, marketing assistance and other training opportunities for the life of the loan.
This microloan program receives funding assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture. For more information, contact SWIF at 800-594-9480, 320-587-4848 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Southwest Initiative Foundation
Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) is a nonprofit community foundation connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities to create a southwest Minnesota where all people thrive. Since its founding in 1986, SWIF has distributed more than $82 million through its grantmaking and business finance programs. Learn more at swifoundation.org.
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