A racial equity lending firm made loans to another group of local businesses owned by entrepreneurs of color.
Grand Rapids-based Rende Progress Capital said this week that it lent undisclosed amounts to Kentwood-based Applause Catering + Events, Grandville-based Lee Tailors and Grand Rapids-based Taylor’s Home Care from its RACE4Progress loan fund established to assist entrepreneurs of color who are economically impacted by COVID-19.
“We at Rende Progress Capital (RPC) are pleased that our growing portfolio at a still young tenure is expanding with a diversification of business industries and stories of great business owners,” said Eric Foster, co-founder, chair and managing director of RPC.
Applause Catering + Events
Established in 2012 and now owned by former employee David Castro Godoy, Applause Catering + Events, at 3755 Broadmoor Ave. SE, Suite C, in Kentwood, demonstrated a “need of support amid the pandemic, resiliency and pivoting to meet the challenges of COVID-19,” according to RPC.
Applause Catering + Events delivers food boxes to corporate meetings, happy hours and family gatherings, as well as its longtime work catering many West Michigan events, including for the Business Journal.
Castro Godoy said Applause has “built a strong reputation in the local community as we take your vision to the next level.”
One fact RPC took into consideration when considering Applause’s loan application — in addition to business fundamentals and need — was the company’s social responsibility and service through providing organizations with unused food and its support of local organizations that serve racially diverse/marginalized communities.
The RACE4Progress Loan will allow Applause to meet rent and payroll obligations.
“We will be relieved to know that we will not be losing our family business. We want to be here to serve the community,” Castro Godoy said.
Thien Ly Alterations Inc. (dba Lee Tailors)
Owned by Lee Thien Ly, Lee Tailors was established in 2003 and is at 3700 Rivertown Pkwy., Suite 1156, in Grandville.
The business demonstrated a need for support and perseverance through COVID-19, RPC said.
Lee Tailors provides dry cleaning, tailoring, alterations, upholstery, leatherwork and embroidery services. Lee Tailors also provides free quotes.
Since the pandemic, the business has experienced many challenges, according to its owner.
“This (loan) will help toward payroll and overhead expenses to (keep) us in business,” Ly said.
Taylor’s Home Care LLC
Owned by Thurman Taylor, Taylor’s Home Care was established in 2015 and is at 1505 Morewood Drive SE in Grand Rapids and also offers services at contract sites.
Taylor’s Home Care provides senior citizens within and outside of Grand Rapids with assisted living and care services. The business focuses on keeping seniors independent and active in a safe, enjoyable and home-like setting through services including nonmedical assistance within one or more activities of daily living, meals, housekeeping, amenities and transportation.
“It’s a comfortable place for growth,” Taylor said.
The business has continued its commitment to seniors and disabled individuals while experiencing new costs associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, according to RPC.
The additional costs for personal protective equipment necessary to keep employees and residents safe, payroll obligations and incentives/resources for employees to continue care for vulnerable senior citizen clients and caregiver relief are creating unbudgeted costs, Taylor said.
“Having a plan for unexpected expenses will wisely benefit my company today and into the future,” Taylor said.