BUFFALO LAKE, Minn. – Raymond Harrell of Buffalo Lake is in the business of saving lives. He recently launched Training For Life LLC to offer people training and certification for First Aid, CPR and AED (automated external defibrillator). Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF) Microenterprise Loan Program helped Harrell start his new enterprise and will provide free technical assistance with business management skills.
People in a variety of professions are required to maintain an up-to-date CPR/AED certification so they’re prepared to respond to emergencies. Harrell saw a local need for his services because area businesses are currently hiring instructors who travel long distances or charge higher rates. Training For Life will cater to local child cares, schools, emergency services, senior living and nursing homes in a 50-mile radius.
“We believe through proper training you could save a life too,” Harrell said.
Harrell’s expertise in life saving measures is thanks in part to a long history with local emergency services. He’s part of the Buffalo Lake Fire Department and has been an EMT with the Buffalo Lake Ambulance Service for 17 years. He’s also the backup CPR instructor at 3M, where he works full time as training coordinator. Harrell plans to continue working at 3M alongside running Training For Life.
Loan proceeds from SWIF helped Harrell purchase equipment, inventory, office supplies and other working capital expenses.
“Ray’s new business uniquely benefits the wellbeing and safety of people in nearby communities, and we’re happy to help him get started and grow as an entrepreneur,” 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 also 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 [email protected].
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 $97.8 million through its grantmaking and business finance programs.
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