Calvin Fletcher’s Entrepreneurial Dreams Become Reality
Back in 2008, Calvin Fletcher, owner of C. Fletcher Hauling, was driving a dump truck for a construction company, working long hours for a low pay for the state of North Carolina. After eight years, he realized he had what he needed to transform his skills into his own entrepreneurial opportunity. He had the work ethic, he had the drive, and he had the plan. The only other thing he needed to make this dream a reality was the capital to do it.
Calvin’s journey is one that so many small business owners recognize. Calvin had the desire and experience to own his own business, wanted the freedom to decide his own hours, and the opportunity to gain financial independence. But seeking out the financial support to turn one’s dream into a reality can be a challenge.
In 2017, Calvin took his business plan and headed to the bank. The bank wasn’t able to assist as they didn’t do loans for startup small businesses, but they liked the idea and recommended he contact Mountain BizWorks.
Support on the Road to Success
Having done his due diligence on his business plan, it wasn’t hard for Calvin to get the capital he needed to start his business. He had researched the trucks, analyzed the potential profit, utilized local resources, made connections with the right contacts.
With the resources from Mountain BizWorks, he was able to fine-tune that plan. He received a small business loan to get his business up and dumping.
The partnership has been long lasting. With the small business loan from Mountain BizWorks, Calvin was able to get capital not just for the start up costs, but what came up along the way to growth.
From truck repairs, to Covid lending, even to funding for a second truck when it came time to expand, Calvin had the backing he needed from the Mountain Community Capital Fund.
The collaborative fund, supported by Mountain BizWorks, Carolina Small Business Development Fund, Self-Help Credit Union, the city of Asheville, and Buncombe County, aims to support local entrepreneurs by providing small business guaranteed loans. With a focus on providing loans to minority business owners and low-income business owners, the fund provides opportunities and access that would be otherwise unattainable for hard-working, driven individuals like Calvin.
Eyes on the Future
There’s no easy path to financial freedom, independence, and growth when it comes to small businesses. As Calvin discovered in his journey, the challenges along the way are plenty. It’s not easy to get a small business loan without a business history. Repairs and expansion require additional financial backing. Growing a business can be hard when financing comes with high interest. Big banks see the risk, but often have a hard time seeing the potential in budding entrepreneurs like Calvin.
Ten years ago, Calvin was working for the state unhappy with his income. Today, he has not only expanded to a second truck in his business, but also employs two part-time employees. As he continues to run his own successful business, Calvin aims to one day run his own fleet of trucks, working managing the logistics rather than driving himself. And Mountain BizWorks continues to support him on the journey to manifesting his entrepreneurial dream.
In his own words, Calvin points out two tips to those like him, those who are ready to work hard for their dreams: “Do your homework on costs, and make sure that you have the financial backing you need to cover the unexpected.”
The work is out there, and with his eyes on the future, Calvin looks forward to further expanding his business and finding more successes in the industry.
To learn more about Mountain BizWorks’ small business lending programs, visit mountainbizworks.org/get-funding.