LOAN OVERVIEW

Borrower: Alston Transportation
Loan Amount: $150,000
Location: Yemassee, SC
Project Type: Community Business

SITUATION

Trimane and Sophia Alston are the owners of Alston Transportation based in Yemassee, South Carolina. Trimane has held a CDL Class A license for several years and drives for Alston Transportation while Sophia manages the operational aspects of the business. They owned a single semi-tractor and trailer, and although demand for their services was high, truck maintenance and repairs kept them off the road and decreased their revenues. They decided to grow their business by pursuing financing for another semi-tractor and two trailers. However, their startup status made securing affordable financing from traditional lenders nearly impossible.

SOLUTION

The Alstons worked with their local SCORE office on their business plan, and when the Alstons were ready to seek financing for their equipment needs, SCORE referred them to SCCLF. The Alstons worked closely with their SCCLF Community Development Loan Officer, Joseph Dukes, for months before applying for and securing financing for the semi and trailers they needed. The technical assistance the Alstons received helped prepare them to secure a loan for the equipment they needed, strengthen their financial position, and think strategically about their long-term business goals.

IMPACT

In South Carolina, minorities make up 35% of the population, yet own just 10% of SC’s small businesses. Alston Transportation is now a growing, minority-owned business in a low-income, rural community. The $150,000 loan from SCCLF allowed the Alstons to greatly increase operations, and hire two new drivers. “We hope our story encourages others in our community,” says Sophia Alston. “People have visions for their businesses and dreams of working for themselves but don’t know how to put it all together. We want them to see a thriving black-owned business and know that there is opportunity.”

Learn more about SCCLF’s Community Business lending program.