Mae Whiteside - CKL Engineers

When hard work needs a little help – A borrower’s story

Mae Whiteside - CKL Engineers

“We’re so proud of what CKL Engineers, LLC has become.  It took some years of hard work, personal sacrifice and faith to pull it off.  We’ve worked diligently on each and every project making sure it is done correctly. This experience has been both rewarding yet challenging, and we enjoy overcoming each milestone before us,” said Mae Whiteside founder and owner of CKL Engineers, LLC. The professional civil engineering consulting company often performs sustainable transportation design, road and airport construction management and erosion control engineering and inspection services for local, state and federal organizations. Even though CKL Engineers had a number of active clients, Mae sought out CNIMFG to assist with keeping her business afloat until two federal contracts began submitting regular payments. CNIMFG was able to grant the request and CKL has been able to pay off the loan.

Putting people first – A borrower’s story

Jacques Eugene - Good Samaritan Auto Shop

Good Samaritan Auto Repair, a 20-year old family owned and operated business in the South Shore community, has seen some challenges in recent years. These challenges left them with a decision to either continue paying two long time employees or other important business debt. With limited working capital, Jacques Eugene, owner of Good Samaritan, chose to retain the employees in lieu of paying other business debt, resulting in serious consequences for his business. Jacques was able to secure a loan from CNIMFG to help provide additional working capital that afforded him with the ability to save his business through paying outstanding debt as well as continue to ensure that his staff was taken care of.

Rebuilding a community one house at a time – A borrower’s story

For the last five years, Durham Cobette Group has successfully acquired, renovated and leased or sold more than 11 distressed properties in the Washington Park neighborhood. Due to cash investments in the renovations of additional properties, Nikki Crump, owner of Durham Cobette Group, was unable to pay property taxes for one year on a home that was slated to be sold. Ms. Crump was able to secure funding from CNIMFG to pay off back taxes, hire a part-time property manager and lease office space. Now the proceeds that she will received from the sale of the home will be used to secure and renovate another distressed property in the Washington Park neighborhood.

Taking your business to the next level – A borrower’s story

Lori Adams - Shuga Pleez Catering

“I have hired Shuga Pleez Catering for two events. The cuisine was unique and flavorful. My guests ranted and raved over the dishes. The service was punctual and included great presentations. I will definitely use Shuga Pleez Catering for all my future events and would not hesitate to recommend their delicious items for anyone looking for a unique menu for their special event,” raved a client of the small catering business that specializes in unique southern cuisine and truffles. However, due to a lack of formal business structure Lori Adams, owner of Shuga Pleez, was not able to compete for more business. The funding Lori secure from CNIMFG allowed her to acquire the licensing and supplies necessary to grow her business. Now Lori is in conversations with Mariano’s and Ultra Foods about placing her products in their stores.

Continuing a family tradition – A borrower’s story

To Raun, there is nothing more gratifying than striking the head of a nail with a hammer. He comes from a long line of builders and makers. Raun was eight when his dad handed him a box full of old tools and helped him turn a pile of used 2x4s into his first workbench. He’s been in love with making and building ever since. Raun Meyn owner of Foundre, a custom furniture store, was seeking funding to expand the showroom space for pre-made furniture in the store’s Wicker Park location and acquire additional inventory and equipment. The loan secured from CNIMFG has allowed Foundre to increase custom furniture sales, showcase handmade goods designed by other artists, as well as provide additional revenue from on-hand furniture.

A little loan goes a long way – a borrower’s story

Caroline of Divine Healing

“I sleep wonderfully every night and no longer have headaches. My shoulder pain has subsided and I have more energy,” is the type of patient testimony that inspired James and Caroline, owners of Divine Healing Herbs, a holistic herbal and wellness center, to search for ways to expand their services. Located in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood since 2008, they have offered alternative medicine, massage therapy, yoga instruction and dietary courses to the community. Although the business was profitable, growth became static and James and Caroline applied for a microloan to hire an additional yoga instructor, purchase inventory and office equipment and install a new security system. CNIMFG approved and disbursed a 18-month term loan to assist them so they could continue to grow as a small business and meet the increasing demands of its customers.

Influx of cash creates more opportunity – A borrower’s story

Marilyn Broady owner of MBM Safety, a home-based small business that provides specialized environmental health and safety consultation for a variety of large corporation, construction companies and various city, state and federal agencies, rents vehicles regularly for her subcontractors to use on various job sites. The vehicle rental is a consistent drain on cash flow and Marilyn was concern that she would not be able to absorb the profits for her business without a capital injection. Marilyn sought and was successful in securing CNIMFG funding to acquire vehicles for job site activity, to lease office space and for working capital. The influx of cash has increased Marilyn’s flexibility in terms of bidding for various opportunities.

Making Investments to Preserve the Community – A borrower’s story

Harolds Chicken

As a small contracting company that acquires foreclosed properties, renovates and leases them to qualified tenants in the West Pullman and Roseland communities, Blackhawk Construction is helping to make Chicago’s far south side communities a viable option to live and work. Greg Edinburgh owner of Blackhawk Construction and several other small businesses in the neighborhood, sought CNIMFG for funding to secure needed capital to complete a major renovation project on a recently acquire property. The loan from CNIMFG allowed Greg to complete the renovations and lease the property to a happy new owner.

When other lenders say no – A borrower’s story

Brothers Health Collective, an HIV/AIDS clinic that provides temporary housing and health services to its patients, will soon rent a four-unit multifamily building in Englewood from Miller Investments. Leroy Bell, owner of Miller Investment, sought funding from CNIMFG to complete the renovations of the multi-unit building when other lenders consider the amount he needed was too small. CNIMFG loan allowed Leroy the ability to update the space and provide housing for a very important, and often neglected, segment of the community.

Building for the future – A borrower’s story

Chef Tsadakeeyah Emmanuel Majani Catering

Youth from the Chicago Botanical Gardens’ summer program raved about the lunches they received. Local businesses and individuals praise the healthy, catered vegetarian plant based cuisines, and a food production company is interested in possibly launching a vegan product line. Reviews like these are what prompted Chef Tsadakeeyah Emmanuel, owner of Majani Catering, to reach out to CNIMFG to secure funds that will enable him to relocate and expand his catering business. Chef Tsadakeeyah is currently leasing kitchen space from a shared commercial kitchen but the success of his business and the funding secured from CNIMFG has allowed him to make a deposit on a new space, purchase cooking equipment and maintain additional working capital that will eventually lead to opening his own small restaurant.

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