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Small Business Success Stories


When Marlaina Renton and Ian Dowling found their beautiful, current location in Bethlehem, they spent everything they had to make the purchase and get their business going.  Their loan officer at Passumpsic Savings Bank introduced them to GRDC’s Bob Walker, and they have since gone through two funding cycles with GRDC, who helped close the gap on two different loans. “GRDC funding allowed us to consolidate bills and take care of the down payment,” said Ian. Their first phase of renovations included a kitchen expansion, recovering their deck, and enclosing their porch for more winter seating.  They are currently in the throes of a “Phase 2” expansion, which will provide a bigger brewhouse, an additional “beer only” bar, more seating and restrooms, and an event space. Ian and Marlaina want to inspire a culture in Bethlehem where business doesn’t die in winter, and by providing a fun and funky space, they hope that that shared “spice of life” only continues to grow in their little town.  READ FULL STORY




When Sarah Levy decided to move forward with her dream of opening a New England inn, her loan officer recommended she contact GRDC for an extra boost up in the small business world. “Meeting with GRDC was really comfortable,” Sarah said. “Bob and Anne were very open and excited about what I was doing. They were really complimentary and had lots of good ideas.”

Sarah used the loan from GRDC as startup funding for her business, the Wayside Inn in Bethlehem. She split her loan and used 50% as cashflow to purchase items like new bedding, paint, and cleaning supplies. The other 50% went toward capital improvements such as a roof and new patio with 35 seats right beside the Ammonoosuc River. Sarah said that GRDC has continued their friendship even after the loan process completed with the Wayside. “They have been supportive ever since. I feel like they’re on my team,” she said.  READ FULL STORY




In 2018, North Country Medical Courier Services owner, Bobbi Lynds, began looking for a building that would better suit her business needs. When she decided to purchase the Enfield Garage, her loan officer at Mascoma Bank recommended asking GRDC for help.  “Bob Walker (GRDC’s loan officer) worked with Scott Stephens from SBDC (Small Business Development Center) to explain the projections I would need,” Bobbi said. “GRDC helped with my down payment so I could put money back into the business. I found it a really easy process that made sense to me, and I got to see how everything fit together.”  Bobbi looks forward to expanding her work family and evolving her business. “I’m really excited to have a loan that gives back to the community as the community has given so much to me.”  READ FULL STORY





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