Carlton has owned and operated C.D. Construction in Birmingham, Ala. for 12 years. He and his four full-time and two part-time employees specialize in home improvements such as roofing, construction, deck and fence building, remodels, and new construction. To accommodate a growing business, Carlton needed to lease a building to store his construction materials and his tools.
Despite his many years of experience, a steady flow of clientele, and his truck as collateral, Carlton said he had difficulty acquiring a loan to pay for his storage building.
“I tried five banks and they all turned me down,” Carlton said.
One day while Carlton was visiting City Hall in Birmingham, he told a representative at the Office of Economic Development about his challenges. The representative referred him to Accion Texas Inc. Though Carlton was happy to learn about this opportunity, he had some apprehensions about applying for a loan again. “It gets to the point where you feel like you’re going to be turned down again and you get tired of trying,” he said.
But he said he was pleasantly surprised at how simple and easy it was to acquire his $5,000 loan. “It went so smoothly, I was shocked,” Carlton said. “I never expected it to go through as smoothly as it did. I tell everybody it’s the greatest experience and you need to go to Accion.”
Carlton used the funds to assist with business expenses, office equipment, a storage facility for materials and supplies, and salaries for his employees. Carlton stressed the importance of employee retention for his company and assured a portion of the loan funds will go to salaries. The loan allowed Carlton’s company to save and store needed materials instead of discarding them or risk ruining them while they were left outside.
The company currently has a steady flow of customers and Carlton is excited about his future. The Accion loan has allowed him to further his dream and continue to grow. He said he plans to quickly pay off his loan so he can build his credit and finance other business expansion projects.
“The loan I received from Accion helped me so much,” Carlton said. “I appreciate it so much and am just so grateful to God that somebody gave me this opportunity.”
LiftFund. (www.liftfund.com) is an award-winning nonprofit organization (previously known as Accion Texas) with a mission to provide credit and loans to small and start-up businesses that have limited or no access to credit from commercial sources. Established in 1994 in San Antonio, LiftFund has helped Texas and Louisiana entrepreneurs strengthen their businesses, stabilize and increase their incomes, create employment, and contribute to the economic revitalization of their communities. Learn more at www.liftfund.com.