Chi Ishobak is pleased to announce a financing partnership with Great Lakes Flooring Specialists, Inc. GLFS is a native-owned commercial flooring company located in Kalamazoo, Mich. Jordan Roberts, Justin Roberts, Meagan Irmen, and Julie Roberts are majority owners and enrolled citizens of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
Many financial institutions are reluctant to work with a young start-up business like GLFS, but this is what Chi Ishobak is designed for. Chi Ishobak worked with GLFS to develop their business plan, financial projections, and growth strategy to ultimately secure financing that will allow them to secure additional larger contracts. Eric Stovern, Chi Ishobak financial services manager explained, “We want to ensure every tribal entrepreneur has the necessary resources to be successful.”
Wayne Roberts founded GLFS in 2015 and brings over 35 years of commercial flooring experience to the company. Jordan, Justin, Meagan, and Julie all have experience in the commercial flooring industry as well.
“As a new family-owned business, I am so thankful for Chi Ishobak for appreciating our family and native values.” Meagan Irmen said. “Instilling their trust in us and giving us the opportunity to grow and be successful.” A family-owned business makes sense within this market and with this level of expertise and reputation.
“Chi Ishobak really saved us.” Wayne Roberts added. “We couldn’t accomplish this without their help.” GLFS is on the growing list of minority-owned businesses for which Chi Ishobak provided financing. Chi Ishobak’s Commercial Loan Program is designed to assist small-business start-up or expansion. “From the start, Chi Ishobak welcomed us as family rather than clients.” Julie Roberts added. “Making such a daunting process simple and easy, we couldn’t be more excited for our partnership with Chi Ishobak.”
Chi Ishobak is a Certified Native Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and Michigan 501(c) (3) non-profit organization. It is the mission of Chi Ishobak to provide access to affordable capital for tribal citizens for the purposes of business loans and individual financial development through collaborative and education-oriented lending services while practicing responsible lending to ensure loan capital for future generations of tribal citizens. Chi Ishobak currently provides commercial and consumer loan products for enrolled citizens of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. It is the goal of Chi Ishobak to work with every tribe within the State of Michigan.
“Chi Ishobak would love to create this type of relationship with other Michigan tribes,” added Winters. “We are all family and the greater number of tribal citizens we can help will accelerate the benefit across Indian Country.”
Additional information can be found through Chi Ishobak’s website or by contacting Chi Ishobak offices at (269) 783-4157.