Williams and Conner Beef Jerky

While working with a client in Zavala County, a USDA “meat inspector” question came up, and having a “friend to call”, I initiated contact. During the conversation, we spoke of “the old days” when I helped launch their business (from cooking in their home kitchen to a state of the art processing facility). As we talked, we realized it was time to refinance the economic development funded loan from the project of nearly $600,000.

Earlier in the year, CED Leadership and Staff met with Gary Linder, CEO of People Fund, a CDFI. CDFI offers loans for start-up companies and expansion companies with guidelines less stringent than traditional banking institutions.  Representatives from People Fund immediately worked to assist WC Beef Jerky with the refinancing project.  Due to unforeseen circumstance, a full refi was not granted. However, the process is on-going and the “Jerky Boys” continue to produce a high-quality product with new contracts for distribution in New Mexico.

Without the casual conversation to ask for help, this small business could have closed because lenders are opposed to financing projects less than a million dollars.  People Fund is working closely with the small business.