Local business benefits from Southwest Initiative Foundation microloan program
St. Michael, Minn.— Steve and Colleen Pappenfus recently received loan assistance from the Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF) Microenterprise Loan Program to open their take and bake pizza restaurant – LarryO’s Pizza, in St. Michael. The business, which is independently owned and family run, is named after Colleen’s father, Larry O’Driscoll, who always wanted to have a pizza restaurant. LarryO’s is located at 400 Central Ave. East, in St. Michael.
Steve has worked in restaurant businesses most of his life and has always dreamed of opening his own business. Colleen works as a surgical technician at North Memorial Surgical Center. She has also taken classes at the Kitchen Window, a culinary art school in Minneapolis, baking on the side, for friends and family.
LarryO’s features standard pizza menu choices, as well as specialty pizzas from their own unique family recipes. They are open Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, 3 to 9 p.m., and Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call (763) 595-1566 to inquire about their menu, or check out LarryO’s Pizza on Facebook.
“SWIF is happy to be able to assist Steve and Colleen with the opening of LarryO’s Pizza, which will provide a popular food option in the St. Michael area,” said SWIF Program Officer, Jackie Turner.
Loan programs have been a key function of SWIF since its inception as a way 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 by providing market-rate loans.
Microloan clients receive free technical assistance from SWIF staff—all who have personal business experience—to improve their business management skills, from business planning to reading financials to marketing 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 [email protected]
The Southwest Initiative Foundation is a single connection offering unlimited possibilities to grow and promote people, businesses, entrepreneurs and communities in rural southwest Minnesota. As a regional community foundation, SWIF has contributed more than $69 million through its grant and loan programs. SWIF has helped more than 660 businesses start or expand through its business finance programs, which have created or retained more than 8,400 jobs. SWIF has also established 16 Early Childhood Initiative coalitions, 24 community foundations and more than 90 school, donor-advised and other funds. The Southwest Initiative Foundation is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To learn more, visit www.swifoundation.org.
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