How A Fitness Franchisee Got A Lift From Stearns Bank


How A Fitness Franchisee Got A Lift From Stearns Bank

Jonathan Moravecs and Carla Palavecino of Virginia Beach dreamed of owning a small business. The Soldierfit fitness franchise seemed like an ideal match for their shared goals and values.

When the partners started working with Stearns Bank and SBA lender Mindy Campbell, that dream became a reality.

After getting a recommendation from the franchise company they were with, Jonathan and Carla were introduced to Mindy.

“This is our first business together and Mindy really took over and held our hand through the SBA financing process,” Carla said. “She walked us through what she needed from us at every step of the way.”





Stearns Bank Technology Delivers For Customer

During the SBA financing process, Carla and Jonathan used the Stearns Bank SBA web portal to upload their documents for review. The portal led to easy understanding on what Mindy needed from them.

Lessons Learned

► Find a franchise that aligns with your values

► Do careful research to find the best SBA lender for you

► Online tools, such as a lender portal, can expedite the financing process

The SBA web portal that Stearns Bank offers makes for a more streamlined communication process between the customer and the lender they’re working with. The customer can see a visual of where they’re at in the financing process and what documents still need to be submitted to complete the loan.

“The SBA web portal has a checklist and you can upload it easily. You can write notes and keep track of everything in one place. It also gives you a nice chart of where you’re at in the process,” Carla said.

Another benefit of the portal was being able to communicate with Mindy any time she needed. The convenience and transparency of the SBA web portal surpassed Carla’s expectations.

Carla had a previous job with an architectural firm and had to do a lot of real estate work with financial institutions. Looking back on that experience, she was impressed with Stearns Bank.

“Having access to people and documents when you needed them was amazing. Mindy and the rest of the Stearns team has been very good to me,” Carla said. “I’ve worked with a lot of banks before, but Stearns is the best I’ve ever worked with.”

“As somebody who understands how businesses work, and understands how loans work, this SBA financing process couldn’t have been smoother. The transparency in communication was amazing.”


What’s Next For Soldierfit

Soldierfit opened in early December 2017 and Carla and Jonathan are excited to bring the franchise model to Virginia Beach.

The facility is 5,300 square feet with 4,000 square feet of new turf for workouts. Soldierfit offers one-on-one and semi-private training sessions for specialized workouts.

Soldierfit is open seven days a week and offers more than 140 boot camp classes monthly.

“This is something we always wanted to do together,” Carla said. “We believe in Soldierfit’s mission ‘to revitalize the American dream by creating a culture of civic engagement, humility, and unyielding optimism for the future.’

“Because of Stearns Bank, we are not only able to own a business, but create jobs for our community as well as strengthen people emotionally and physically one boot camp at a time!”

Topics: SBA

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