HERMITAGE, Ark., Aug. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Roger Hoskins had managed Hermitage Grocery in Hermitage, Arkansas, for eight years, when an opportunity arose for him to purchase the store.
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"After working here a year, I told the owner if he ever decided to sell the store, I wanted to be the first person to try to buy it," said Mr. Hoskins. Last year the owner did just that.
Mr. Hoskins reopened the grocery store as Hometown Grocery of Hermitage after shutting down the store just two days to make the transition to ownership. And with a little help from a small business grant offered by his bank, Warren Bank & Trust Company, and the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas (FHLB Dallas), Mr. Hoskins was able to add a deli counter that serves fried chicken and other prepared foods.
"I was talking to my banker about wanting to put in the chicken deli, and trying to get the loan to pay off the previous owner, and my banker said there was some grant money that could help me," Mr. Hoskins said.
His banker told him about a specialized small business grant program offered through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas's Economic Development Program (EDP). EDPPlus grants are available through FHLB Dallas member institutions, such as Warren Bank & Trust Company and are offered in conjunction with EDP advances. The program provides favorably priced advances to FHLB Dallas member institutions to support economic development and community revitalization projects that qualify by location, income, or targeted services. If a member institution is approved for an EDP advance, the member's customer may then be eligible for an accompanying EDPPlus grant.
Mr. Hoskins obtained a loan from Warren Bank & Trust Company, which was funded by a low-cost EDP advance from FHLB Dallas. In addition, Mr. Hoskins was able to qualify for an accompanying $25,000 EDPPlus grant.
"Bottom line, for what it was going to cost me to put in the chicken deli, receiving the grant funds was a plus," Mr. Hoskins said. "I needed something to strengthen my base. I had to put in the infrastructure and basically start from scratch, putting in electrical, Vent-A-Hood fryers, and a display case. We were looking at another funding route and ended up with the grant and loan. Warren Bank and Trust has really wonderful people to work with. In my case, they really took care of me."
The grant for Mr. Hoskins was the first time Warren Bank & Trust Company has used the EDPPlus grant program.
"In this economy, any program that can maximize funding options for our customers is a win-win," said Kelly Ashcraft, senior vice president and chief operating officer at Warren Bank & Trust Company. "We saw a great opportunity to use the EDPPlus grant with Hometown Grocery, and it worked out well for everyone involved."
Business has been good. Mr. Hoskins has six employees, and he has already made additional improvements to the store, such as installing more cost efficient lighting. He plans to continue making improvements to the store, such as upgrading the equipment and other changes to make the store more modern, he said.
Going into business for himself, was, as Mr. Hoskins said, "probably the easiest thing I've ever done considering: No. 1, the grant, and No. 2, the amount of money I was getting to purchase the store. There was a lot of paperwork, but outside of that, it was an easy process."
EDPPlus grants are noncompetitive and available on a first-come, first-served basis to promote and enhance small business development and job creation in underserved areas or for underserved populations. FHLB Dallas made $1 million in EDPPlus grant funds available in 2013.
About the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas is one of 12 district banks in the FHLBank System created by Congress in 1932. FHLB Dallas, with total assets of $32.7 billion as of June 30, 2013, is a member-owned cooperative that supports housing and community development by providing competitively priced loans and other credit products to approximately 900 members and associated institutions in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Texas. For more information, visit the FHLB Dallas website at fhlb.com.
The photo is also available via AP PhotoExpress.
CONTACT: Corporate Communications Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas www.fhlb.com (214) 441-8445
Source:Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas