“Northern Initiatives really raised the roof of possibility for me. They took the time to see what I was doing in the business and saw the potential and gave me opportunities.” – Richard Flowers, owner
Richard Flowers confronted roadblocks while seeking the necessary capital to expand his company’s fleet of vehicles. Reliable Medical Transport LLC in Grand Rapids had been in existence for four years, providing door-to-door service for those with mobility issues. Yet despite market demand supporting the company’s sustainability in West Michigan and his plans for growth, Flowers’ credit history limited his ability to secure traditional financing.
“Northern Initiatives really raised the roof of possibility for me,” he said. “They took the time to see what I was doing in the business and saw the potential and gave me opportunities. I was able to purchase a few more vehicles, renovate the office space and save money by consolidating previous loans. Northern Initiatives allowed us to expand our services and create more jobs. I had felt we couldn’t go any further because we didn’t have the capital, but they helped us move forward.”
Northern Initiatives also provided business services and expertise that enabled Flowers to revamp his company’s website, update his business plan and become more proficient in QuickBooks. Reliable Medical Transport has grown from six employees to nine, with eight working full time and one part time. Flowers said he is looking to add two more to the team and expand the service area. The company transports individuals for both non-emergency and non-medical purposes.
A friend at Grand Rapids Area Black Business (GRABB) directed Flowers to Northern Initiatives. Flowers had participated in a GRABB accelerator program designed to help five business owners at a time reduce barriers, identify available resources and improve their success rate.