Traditional lenders said no to Aurora when she applied for business loans, but we said yes. Read how we helped transform her business and stay on time with her payments.
Our customers inspire us every day, and we want to regularly share those stories to inspire you, too. This week, read about Aurora Garibay of Bridal & Tuxedo World in Watsonville. Traditional lenders said no to Aurora when she applied for business loans, but we said yes. Read how we helped transform her business and stay on time with her payments.
Formalizing the Business
Aurora Garibay started as an entrepreneur by making and selling flower arrangements in her home in Watsonville. When she heard about a bridal shop for sale through a contact at El Pajaro Community Development Center, she took a chance and purchased her first storefront business in 2010.
Aurora runs that business, Bridal & Tuxedo World on Main Street, with her sister. Aurora handles sales and rentals plus customer service while her sister does alterations for garments. Even with 10 years in the business and a highly visible shop, times were tough for Aurora.
“I needed to stock up on inventory months head of the bridal and first holy communion season,” Aurora said. “I applied at several banks. All of them said I didn’t qualify because of my low credit score.”
The Opportunity Fund micro lending team connected with her was able to provide fast financing for her business.
Opportunity Fund Says “Yes” to Small Business
Loan consultant Miguel Angel Barreras walked into Bridal & Tuxedo World shortly after Opportunity Fund expanded our lending services to Monterey County in March 2013. He was committed to working with Aurora to get the financing she needed.
“I told him I did not have good credit,” she said. “He offered to start an application for me, and then qualified me for my first loan of two thousand dollars.”
Aurora was able to purchase more dresses and materials with the micro loan and soon was making more revenue. The increase in business allowed her to catch up payments on her loans and improve her credit score.
“There were times when I chose to pay Opportunity Fund before I paid another accounts, because you believed in me,” she said. “Now my store is fully stocked and I’m caught up on all my bills.”
Aurora took out a second loan for $4,000 in January 2015 to help expand Bridal & Tuxedo World’s business to offer decorations like linens, place settings, and flower arrangements.
“My customers come in looking for a one stop shop,” Aurora said. “I want to offer that to them.”
Since then, Aurora has taken out two more loans, for $4,000 and $5,000 respectively. The working capital has helped give her business a fighting chance. She’s grateful for Miguel Angel and her current loan consultant Griselda Gil-Solis for believing in her business and for helping her build her credit.
“I’m very happy with Opportunity Fund,” she said. “Even if I have a balance on my loan, they’re willing to consider me for another loan when I need it. Griselda is respectful and efficient and made everything go so fast.”
See how we helped Aurora grow her business in this video:
We hope this story has inspired you, too. At Opportunity Fund, we offer easy-to-get, fast, and affordable small business loans to help small business owners succeed. Visit our home page to find out more.
Opportunity Fund is California’s largest and fastest-growing nonprofit lender to small businesses. Last fiscal year, we made $60M in loans to help more than 2,200 small business owners invest in their businesses. Opportunity Fund invests in small business owners who do not have access to traditional financing. As a founding member and signatory to the Borrower’s Bill of Rights, we believe in the important role small businesses play in our community and the economy, and we aim to help owners financially succeed.
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