AICCW Member Spotlight

About Time Moving Systems

February 25, 2019

Quinn Smith, owner of About Time Moving Systems, LLC

https://www.abouttimemoving.com/

 

About Time Moving Systems, LLG goal is simple; to be the #1 trusted moving company in Racine & Kenosha. Whether it’s moving washer and dryer from a second floor to the first floor or moving a family across the country, customer service and satisfaction is their top priority.

 

When you watch videos on the About Time Moving website, you see Quinn’s hard work; clean trucks inside and out, door frames wrapped with protective blankets, floors covered, professional employed staff in clean uniforms. This is also reflected in over 200 five star reviews from customers. The testimonials repeat the words “professional, efficient, careful, very helpful, eager to please, totally satisfied” again and again.

 

Mr. Smith is from the Mille Lacs Onamia tribe and attended kindergarten through third grade at ICS Milwaukee (http://ics-edu.org), After that, he completed his education in the public school system. He worked in the moving industry for 15 years, working his way up from mover to general manager. In 2005, he “was sick of working for someone else” so he sat down with Craig and the AICCW team, wrote a business plan, received a loan from FACC and the Small Business Administration, and launched About Time Moving Systems, LLC.

 

Quinn says that working with Gary, Bev, and Craig has made all the difference. “AICCW and FACC give Native Americans opportunities. With their support, you have options and choices... and don’t have to be Native American to get a loan. I am thankful for the opportunity to be able to accumulate the capital needed to start and grow my business.”

 

December 2018 was a huge milestone for Quinn; About Time Moving received a $250,000 loan from FACC allowing him to purchase  2 trucks and a Suburban. This loan gets him closer to his short term goal; to grow within Racine and Kenosha area and own 3-5  more trucks. His long term goal for About Time Moving is to franchise his “customer first/employee important” model throughout the state and beyond.

 

“Without AICCW- FACC none of this would be possible.” Says Quinn.
 

To learn more about About Time Moving, LLC  and read the most recent of the five-star reviews, please visit https://www.abouttimemoving.com/

 

Derksen Company

December 10, 2018

The Derksen Co.

 

David Willeford, Owner - H. Derksen & Sons, Wind Walker Manufacturing

FACC Board Member and Treasurer - Cherokee Confederation

Owner - Derksen Co., Wind Walker Manufacturing

 

David Willeford meeting with  Lt. Gov. Kleefisch on 10/05/18.  They met under one of his favorite possessions, a 1850 Oklahoma Cherokee reservation tapestry passed down from his Great Great Grandmother.

 

When David took over Derksen Co.,  he had his work cut out for him. With the rise of the internet, the print market was suffering and Derksen was operating at a loss. David built upon the strengths of being Wisconsin owned and operated company since 1863, and reinvented Derksen using cutting edge technology such as Memjet, which features greater control over ink distribution and allows for higher resolutions in its produced images.

 

Both Derksen Co.  and Wind Walker Manufacturing are AICCW members. David enjoys being on the FACC board and  providing mentorship to other native businesses.

 

If you'd like to learn more about the Derksen story and their products and services, please visit www.derksenco.com .

 

 

Go Green Painting - Invest in Wisconsin Case Study

June 14, 2017

Allen's Story

 

After 30 years working as a painter – fraught with seasonal work and lay-offs – Allen Danforth was ready for a change. He had a potential that others could see. After painting a residential property, the homeowner – impressed with Allen’s work and professionalism, asked – “Why doesn’t someone like you have his own business?” Allen took the comment to heart. Later that day, Allen went to Bay Bank in Green Bay to deposit the check from the job. Here, he encountered Jeff Bowman, an acquaintance from their grade school days. The two started talking, and Allen learned that Jeff was the president and CEO of the bank. Throughout their conversation, Allen’s interest in starting a business came up. Jeff suggested that he attend a seminar on business development hosted by First American Capital Corporation (FACC), a Wisconsin CDFI serving Native American communities. Allen had heard about the event and decided to attend at Jeff’s urging. 

 

From there, Allen recounted a series of seemingly “unbelievable” events. Jeff connected Allen with Craig Anderson, the Executive Director of FACC. Craig steered Allen to a variety of free technical assistance seminars and classes, such as an introduction to QuickBooks. In addition, Craig secured funding for Allen to receive marketing and accounting support. Allen found the classes extremely helpful, knowing that his biggest challenge would be the administrative office work required for the business. Next, Allen obtained a loan with FACC. Armed with capital and a new skill-set, Allen was ready to launch. 

 

In 2012, Allen started Go-Green Painting LLC, which offers a variety of residential and commercial services. The learning curve was steep. From workmen’s compensation, to overhead costs and joint ventures, Allen felt the struggle to keep up and make ends meet. He kept in communication with his mentors at FACC and Bay Bank who offered support and additional technical assistance opportunities. Allen repeatedly mentioned that he felt his business would have failed in the first year without the backing of Craig and Jeff. “You’re on your own as a business owner, said Allen. “You really need support”. 

 

Social Impact

 

As his business took off, Allen hired his adult daughters to work part-time. The family grew closer as they spent more time together. He also hired other Native workers in his community. Allen continued his education, earning a minority business enterprise (MBE) certification. His additional credentials provided more and more job opportunities. These days, Allen regularly receives multiple bids for his services, even more than he has capacity to respond – a good problem to have! 

With his success, Allen feels a sense of purpose and has a different outlook on life; he started feeling successful. In addition, as his own boss, Allen could take advantage of a more flexible work schedule. He can now take time off to tend to his health without fear of losing his job. In addition, Allen experienced an increased sense of confidence, noting, “People treat you differently when you are a business owner.” 

 

Today, Go Green Paining LLC continues to thrive. Allen is still in touch with Craig Anderson at FACC and Jeff Bowman at Bay Bank. He can count on them for support as his business needs change and grow. We look forward to keeping in touch with Allen to hear about what is next for Go Green Painting LLC! 

 

References:

 

(1) U.S. Small Business Administration (2016), Minority business ownership: 

Data from the 2012 Survey of Business Owners, https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/advocacy/Minority-Owned-Businesses-in-the-US.pdf, Access date: June 2, 2017. 

(2) Bressler, Campell, & Elliot (2014), A study of Native American small business ownership: 

opportunities for entrepreneurs. Research in Business and Economics Journal, 10:1, 1-13. 

(3) United State Census Bureau (2015), Los Angeles County a microcosm of nation’s diverse collection of business owners, https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2015/cb15-209.html, Access date: June 7, 2017. 

(4) Colbourne (2017) An understanding of Native American entrepreneurship, Small Enterprise Research, 24:1, 49-61. 

(5) Anderson, Giberson, Hindle, & Kayseas (2004). Understanding success in indigenous 

entrepreneurship: An exploratory investigation. Proceedings of the AGSE-Babson Regional 

Entrepreneurship Research Exchange. 

 

 

Native Transit Company Rolling Strong with FACC

September 22, 2016

After considering a reentry into the construction industry, Menominee Nation tribal member and entrepreneur, Richard Warrington, researched several options and saw growing opportunities in long-distance freight, which interested him greatly. That said, Mr. Warrington also understood the challenges he would face, both as a new business start-up and as a sole proprietor / Native entrepreneur. Fortunately, he contacted First American Capital Corp (FACC) because he knew that FACC has the expertise and tools to get his new business up and rolling.  As a Native CDFI and SBA Micro-lender, FACC provides access to capital, technical assistance and business counseling to Native-owned businesses — from start-ups, to expansions and throughout the business life cycle. 

 

Mr. Warrington’s savvy paid off because almost one year into his new venture, he confidently states, “FACC helped me quickly obtain the business resources and financing I needed to start, grow and succeed in my new trucking business.”  And the proof is in the pudding… Wolf River Transit, LLC is a new company, rolling successfully and profitably along.

 

With 11 Federally recognized tribes in the state of Wisconsin and 75% of tribal members living in urban areas, location is an important factor. FACC offices are located in Milwaukee and focus on Native businesses that exist inside and outside of reservation boundaries throughout their statewide service area. As a Native business development resource, FACC works with “under-banked” borrowers such as Mr. Warrington. With about $3 million in assets, some 40% of FACC financial assistance (FA) funds are presently deployed to reservation-based businesses and 60% of the portfolio is Native business owners with off of reservation locations. Currently, FACC borrowers span 30 out of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

 

Access to capital in the form of business loans, however important, is not the only product that FACC provides to its loan clients.  To help Native businesses build capacity and achieve the greatest chance of success, FACC partners with legal professionals who donate legal counseling to assist loan clients such as Mr. Warrington in formulating an LLC, and explaining tax implicates of on- and off-reservation-based businesses. From there, some loan clients are referred to the Wisconsin Procurement Institute and Native Diversification Network for training, certification and readiness for government contracting work. Mr. Warrington also participated in the College of Menominee Nation-Native CDFI Collaboration – supported by First Nations Development Institute – which provided practical business management classroom training and one-to-one loan readiness technical assistance over a 12 month curriculum.  “Over the years, I’ve looked to FACC for business advice, services, and referrals to their extensive networks,” says Mr. Warrington.

 

Why is this process important?  In recent years, FACC has seen an increase in loan inquiries from Native entrepreneurs who are competing for, winning and performing various local/state/tribal/federal contract work. In response, FACC has developed targeted development services and strategic partnerships. Targeted training and technical assistance programs include contract/construction accounting, customized bidding/estimating software and contract management templates.

 

In addition, FACC works to provide access to support Native business owners working to grow through various government disadvantaged business certification programs such as the City of Milwaukee Small Business Enterprise (SBE), State Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Department of Transportation Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) as well as SBA HUBZone and 8(a) certifications and tribal preference/TERO processes.

 

The combination of access to business loans and relevant business development services are working to move more underbanked Native American business owners to graduating from FACC as Native CDFI lender of last resort, to growing, qualifying for, and thriving through new banking relationships throughout Wisconsin.

 

For more information on FACC, please contact Craig Anderson AICCW President/FACC Executive Director – craiga@aiccw.org / 414.604.2044 / http://www.faccloans.com/

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