With its bright walls, African paintings, and traditional fabric tapestries, "Neighborhood Holistic," a yoga studio and spa, captures the essence of what owner Lyn Genet Recitas calls the "bridge between old and new Harlem."
Creating a Welcoming Space for All
"I wanted to create a welcoming space for all," says Lyn, who began the studio with the help of her first Accion small business loan. The business became profitable one year after opening and grew to employ twelve part-time employees. "Just as important," she continues, "I wanted to create work for myself that was fulfilling."
"Neighborhood Holistic" has allowed Lyn to accomplish both goals. Due to the initial success of the business, Lyn was able to offer yoga scholarships to low-income families in the neighborhood. Shortly after, 25 percent of her clients were on scholarship and she expanded the program to include low-cost acupuncture and meditation.
Hit by the Economic Crisis
However, when the economic crisis hit Harlem in the fall of 2008, Lyn's business was put at risk. Lyn had also used funding from a traditional bank to cover initial start-up costs, and that line of credit was serving as her cash cushion. In December, she received a letter from her lender letting her know that her interest rate on outstanding funds would rise from 9 percent to over 20 percent, doubling her cost of credit.
Accion Helps to Weather the Storm
Initially, Lyn expected the worst. "I thought that I would have to cut my low-cost programs, which are so important to the goals of my business." Then, she called her loan consultant at Accion to see if she could obtain a loan to pay off her line of credit and provide the affordable cash cushion she needed to operate. Lyn qualified for a second $12,500 loan at an interest rate that she could afford, allowing her to keep her low-cost programs up and running.
Thanks to the help of Accion, Lyn's business is prepared to continue weathering the financial crisis, and Harlem won't lose a community center and source for holistic health care.
Donate now to help Lyn continue bettering her local community and offer hope for others in these difficult economic times. Your donation to Accion will allow small business owners like Lyn to continue their community efforts.
Location / Ubicación: New York
Language / Idioma: English
Type of Business/Tipo de Negocio: Health & Fitness