|Pasco County, Florida — After a year of awarding microloans to entrepreneurs in Pasco County, the Pasco Economic Development Council, Inc. received its first complete loan payoff from a local online company that is expanding. 301 Designs, Inc. is one of nine small businesses to receive a microloan from Pasco EDC, and the first to pay off the loan—17 months ahead of schedule.
“The microloan from Pasco EDC helped us prepare to take our business to the next level,” said Gil Gauthier, owner of 301 Designs, Inc. “We’ve recently been able to secure conventional financing with a traditional bank and our company is well positioned for rapid growth.”
Gil Gauthier turned his home-based business into a profitable company and grew into a 2,400 sq. ft. warehouse space. Now he is now ready to expand again. His company, 301 Designs, Inc., is a retail apparel company that sells primarily via the internet through major online marketplaces such as Amazon, Overstock, and Sears.
“301 Designs is a great example of how the microloan program can help businesses grow,” said Edward Spenceley, Senior Vice President, Bank of America, and Chair of Pasco EDC’s Growth Task Force. “Most jobs historically are created by our small businesses. We invested in the microloan program to help businesses like 301 Designs expand and create jobs in Pasco County.”
Several banks have seen the potential that Pasco EDC’s microloan offers companies and have invested in the program since its inception including Bank of America, CenterState Bank, Suncoast Schools Federal Credit Union, and Wells Fargo.
“The microloan program is a great investment opportunity for banks that need to fulfill their Community Reinvestment Act requirements,” said John Hagen, Pasco EDC President/CEO. “On top of it, when lenders refer small businesses to the microloan program, they help us build future bank customers. Once a loan recipient becomes commercially viable, the first thing it needs is usually more money to expand. Then the bank can help them and we can go on to the next opportunity.”
The microloan program coupled with free technical assistance through the Pasco Enterprise Network gives entrepreneurs powerful tools to grow their business. Companies who need help obtaining non-traditional financing and who are located in Pasco County or planning to locate in Pasco County, should consider applying for a microloan through Pasco EDC. Borrowers must show they have the experience and resources to be successful business operators. Please visit www.pascoedc.com for more information on how to apply.