HUTCHINSON, Minn. – Chris Brecht and Mary Kay Doering have opened Act Your Age in the Hutchinson Mall with help from the Southwest Initiative Foundation’s (SWIF) Microenterprise Loan Program. It’s a store for the young and the young at heart, offering specialty toys and games for all ages as well as candy, popcorn, Minnesota made sodas, coffee and snacks.
“You should be able to feel like a kid no matter your age. This is a place for happiness, fun and memories,” Brecht said.
Party supplies and event planning for birthdays, anniversaries and holiday gatherings are also available from Act Your Age, which opened its doors in November.
“You don’t always need a reason to celebrate, but when you have one, we’re here to make your event memorable in the most beautiful way,” Doering said.
Brecht started ForTykes toy store in the Hutchinson Mall in 2018, specializing in quality children’s toys. Adding Doering to the mix was a way to make that venture into something bigger and better that appeals to all ages.
The two women are lifelong friends and former classmates, graduating together from Glencoe-Silver Lake High School in 2005. Brecht has more than 10 years of experience in sales and marketing. Doering’s background is in management and marketing.
The loan proceeds will be used for working capital expenses. 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.
“Chris and Mary Kay know how to have fun and want to share that with the community. We’re happy to support them in growing this business,” said Jackie Turner, SWIF Economic Development Officer.
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 [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 $88 million through its grantmaking and business finance programs.
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