LIHUE — Armed with a new classroom, donated computers and money to lend, Kauai Micro’s Larry Dressler stands ready to help Kauai small businesses start, expand, and succeed.
He is microenterprise loan fund manager, really a loan officer offering small loans to small businesses whose owners can’t secure big-bank loans for any of a myriad of reasons.
Located in the Kukui Grove Professional Village on the top floor of a two-story gray building near Kauai Athletic Club and Kukui Grove 4 Cinemas, Kauai Micro recently moved into a larger office space.
The larger office has an attached area soon to be equipped with donated computers and used as a classroom space, where Dressler will soon teach his first course, a business-plan development curricula.
New Wave Communications, Carl Fredrick and Steve Hurd, have donated the computers, and Dressler hopes the classes, to be scheduled as needed with flexible times and dates to accommodate those interested in taking the courses, will increase small-business success on the island.
In addition to lending, Kauai Micro and Dressler offer training, technical assistance and other help to fledgling small business owners and operators on the island.
“Our strength is providing funding to people who have been cut off from standard sources of capital. To support them, we provide technical assistance and training in planning the start-up through the growth phase of their businesses,” Dressler said.
Loans range from $500 to $25,000, and to date Kauai Micro has loaned over $400,000 to low- and moderate-income entrepreneurs. This has created or retained over 145 jobs on the island, he said.
“We offer assistance and access to capital to those who would otherwise be excluded from the rewards of small-business ownership,” he added.
The first students to use the new computer laboratory will be those enrolled in a business-planning course set to begin Saturday, July 26, to run for four consecutive Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
It is designed for people with business ideas, struggling business owners, prospective borrowers, and owners of growing or changing businesses, with the ultimate goal for each participant to have a written business plan by course’s end, said Dressler.
The course will help entrepreneurs evaluate ideas, get business plans in writing, and plan for the future, he said. It will also allow Dressler the potential lender the chance to see entrepreneurs in action, even if it’s in the relative safety of a controlled classroom.
The four components of the class are success (personal) planning, marketing planning, cash-flow planning and operations planning.
The course fee is $100, and includes all course materials and confidential consulting services. Some participants may be eligible for tuition reimbursement, scholarships, or payment plans.
Advanced payment of fees and registration are required to reserve a spot in the first class. Space is limited. For registration and more information, please call Dressler, 632-2004.