Yoga for the Peaceful in downtown Crested Butte has offered yoga classes for residents and visitors alike for the past 10 years. In June, new owner Brittany Phelps opened a second yoga studio geared toward the local, full-time residents of CB South, Crested Butte’s bedroom community seven miles south of town.
Phelps sought to remodel a 600-square foot garage space to house her new yoga studio at 310 Elcho Avenue. She contacted Crested Butte Bank seeking a $10,000 business loan to do the remodel and purchase yoga mats and other props. As a new business, however, with no credit history and possessing few assets, she was unable to get a bank loan, she said.
Crested Butte Bank steered Phelps in the right direction when it encouraged her to contact Region 10 League for Economic Assistance and Planning in Montrose.
Phelps met with Region 10 Business Loan Fund director Dan Scinto, who explained the process of obtaining a small business loan, looked over her business plan, and assessed whether she would be able to pay back the $10,000 loan.
“We were able to approve the loan,” Scinto said. “Region 10’s Loan Fund fills the gap that exists in the banking industry.”
Since 1972, Region 10’s Business Loan Fund has helped 250 local businesses and nonprofits with more than $9 million in loans.
“We like to leverage public and private dollars on projects that we work on,” Scinto said. “We typically work in partnership with banks on projects,” though sometimes, like in Phelps’ case the Loan Fund is the sole lender.
Within a few weeks of acquiring the loan, the remodel was completed, and Phelps was in business. CB South’s Yoga for the Peaceful grand opening took place June 6 – an event Scinto attended.
“The Loan Fund takes a vested interest in the business’s success,” Scinto said. “It’s a place to develop a business and technical relationship.”
Phelps has already hired five yoga instructors and plans to employ six additional teachers this fall. The studio offers different styles of yoga, and 20 different classes, ranging from beginner level to intermediate. Phelps is also looking to become a teacher-training center; she already offers workshops in various specialties.
“Our slogan is ‘all types of yoga for all types of bodies,” Phelps said.
Phelps started repayment of the loan two months after she closed on it.
“It was very affordable,” she said. “Interest rates are half of what they would be at a large bank.”
Region 10’s assistance didn’t end there. Phelps has continued to consult Scinto and Region 10’s Small Business Resource Center about various issues, such as bookkeeping and marketing.
“Region 10 is such a strong asset and resource for me as a small business owner,” Phelps said.
It’s important to note that Region 10’s Business Loan Fund program provides ongoing technical assistance throughout the term of the loan, Scinto said.
Region 10 Business Loan Fund serves 18 local communities in San Miguel, Ouray, Montrose, Hinsdale, Gunnison and Delta counties.
To see a schedule of classes, or for more information about yoga in Crested Butte and CB South, visit www.yogaforthepeaceful.com.