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Business Owner Turns to Community After Banks' Rejections


“If you know the right people, then you’ll get the loan. They’ll find creative ways on applying to things and getting things to help you,” Smith said.

What You Need To Know

  • Blue Green Lawn Care in Beacon is a Black-owned business founded by Marqus Smith

  • He applied for a small business loan from local banks to expand the business

  • The banks said no, so now he's looking for support from his community to continuing growing

Marqus Smith used to hate it when his stepfather would get him out of bed to take care of the lawn or help shovel snow. But now it’s paying off.

“A light bulb popped in my head, saying I could probably make some real money off this,” Smith said.

He's the CEO and founder of Blue Green Lawns, and for the last year and a half, he’s been taking care of lawns in the community. This winter, he started shoveling out driveways.

“If you go around, even right now, in the neighborhood, you’ll see there’s a lot of people that aren’t even shoveled out yet," Smith said. "A lot of the big boys usually either have a high rate or are all booked up. So that means that for me, doing it all in my family van, it’s good, but there’s also a lot of money I’m potentially leaving on the floor.”


That family van, doubling as a work vehicle, has been through it all, with all the scratches and gasoline stains to prove it. It led Smith to look for a small business loan from local banks.


He submitted an application for a $50,000 loan toward a company vehicle and other equipment. But his application was denied, and he says he wasn’t given any helpful or creative suggestions for ways to try and get a loan.


“I was even told by one particular banker, or bank loan officer, that business credit doesn’t even matter. Which is outrageous to say, because it does matter," Smith said.

He isn't alone.


According to a study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, loans backed by the federal Small Business Administration given to Black-owned businesses have decreased from eight to three percent.


“If you know the right people, then you’ll get the loan. They’ll find creative ways on applying to things and getting things to help you,” Smith said.

He won't give up and is now looking for community assistance to get the funding for a company truck through GoFundMe.


“It will catapult me into not only running my business full-time, but I think it will also help me hire more and expand and service the community that I love.”


You can find more information at the Go Fund Me page here.


Visit Blue Green Lawns here


Read more here [VIDEO]


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