It’s a story that small business owners know all too well.

Nine years ago, Laurie Abrahamson successfully launched Montrose Embroidery – the “go to place” for embroidery, screen printing, and other promotional materials in Montrose. Her business thrived and survived in the ups and down of the market. “I quickly found out that being a small business owner is not easy,” Abrahamson explains. “It has been one of the most challenging and yet most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had.” In fact, she was well positioned to expand her business despite the downtown in the economy. However, she didn’t qualify for a traditional bank loan to finance the expansion.

That’s when she learned about Region 10’s Business Loan Fund (BLF). Backed by federal grant funds, the BLF offers reasonable financing options for small businesses owners who run into the same problem. Since Region 10 and its BLF Committee do not have to go through the same degree of underwriting and scrutiny, there is more flexibility to lend smaller loans with low interest rates.

“Thankfully, my loan was approved,” Abrahamson comments. “Vince Fandel (Region 10’s Small Business Resource Director) and his staff were very professional and helpful in ways that afar exceeded my expectations.”

Abrahamson’s loan helped her purchase a street sign. The street sign – which Abrahamson described as a “way big blessing” – has helped bring higher visibility to her business. The sign has also become a beacon for the community to use. “We help other businesses and organizations in the community to succeed by allowing them to rent our highly visible street sign to promote their business or event,” Abrahamson explains. It’s a win-win for Abrahamson’s business and the Montrose community.

But Abrahamson’s use of Region 10 programs didn’t stop there. Once she learned more about the organization and its Small Business Resource Center, she became a frequent attendee of the many classes offered by Region 10. The courses cover a wide range of topics from social media marketing to QuickBooks training. Course offerings are tailored to the interests of business owners; Region 10 conducts constant surveying to see what classes are of the highest value to the business community. “They truly are interested in helping us succeed in the areas we need help in,” Abrahamson adds.

As Montrose Embroidery continues to thrive and succeed, Abrahamson alluded to some new exciting announcements on the horizon for her business. “We are currently working on plans to expand the business which will create a few more jobs and be a benefit to our community,” she teases. “We hope to be able to announce the full details by late summer 2014.”

Region 10 is proud to support small businesses like Montrose Embroidery. Please visit the Small Business Resource page to learn more about other available services and programs.