News from CRF

April 28, 2010

CRF USA financing secures future for family-owned restaurant where convention lending sources fail

Neighborhood eatery, founded in 1984, remains key gathering spot

With all the negative news about the economy, it's great to be able to share a few good stories and to show the impact non-conventional financing can have in a community. Small businesses are the lifeblood of job growth and neighborhood vitality - yet too often they struggle to obtain the capital needed to hire and expand. That's where community development lenders like CRF USA can make a difference.

This spring, we helped Tooties On Lowry, a family-owned restaurant in Minneapolis, Minn. Tooties opened in 1984 and is an important community gathering place in its tight-knit north side neighborhood.

Unfortunately, recent events like access-limiting street repairs forced owners Nick and Lili Johnson to leverage their personal finances to keep the business afloat. The pair struggled to find credit options through mainstream channels.

"We didn't think getting a loan was a viable option, given the lack of equity in the business and the declining state of the neighborhood," Nick Johnson said.

Watch a video of Tootie's owners Nick and Lili Johnson

Fortunately, with a small business loan from CRF USA, the City of Minneapolis and the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, the Johnsons were able to purchase their building and free up much-needed cash to invest in the business.

"We are so grateful to CRF USA and the City of Minneapolis for helping us," said Lili Johnson. "As one of the few full-service restaurants in North Minneapolis, we are thrilled to have new opportunities for growth and success in our community."

Visit Tooties on Lowry at 2706 Lowry Avenue, Minneapolis, Minn.

Posted by: CRFUSA


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