Client Accolades

Georgia Green Loans

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Manufacturer brings production to state with Georgia Green Loan

Georgia Green Loan  customers, Gavron and Chubby Campbell, owners of Bigwood Boards, were featured in GA Trend’s Small Business Guide 2011-2012. Bigwood Boards, which are monogrammed cutting boards, have been named one of Oprah’s “favorites,” as well as Emeril Lagasse’s Carnivale du vin. These products are all the buz and make excellent gifts for family and friends. Click on the photo for access to the full article. Bigwood Boards is featured on page 20.

Tutoring Business Slashes Electricity Use, Bills with Save & Sustain Loan

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As a result of innovative Save & Sustain financing, Bob Hoyer is saving hundreds a month on his electric bill and he’s thrilled. “Our summer electric bills were unthinkable,” he said, referring to his decision to replace fluorescent lighting and install solar panels on the roof of the 4,000 square foot building housing his tutoring business, Academic Solutions.

Founded in 1998, Academic Solutions assists students from kindergarten through college with math, reading, English, study skills and test prep. With 18 employees and dozens of students in and out all day, lighting, heating and cooling needs resulted in bills from $350 to $500 per month.  Hoyer expects to save $300 a month.

Key to making the $30,000 project happen, Hoyer said, was low interest financing provided by Save & Sustain.  “Program manager Matt Ryder was excellent to work with,” Hoyer said. “He understood the whole picture and what our goals were.” Businesses seeking energy efficient improvements can contact Matt at  ryder@georgiagreenloans.org or 404-863-3510.

Cobb County Recycler Wins Greenovation Award

bekyarov-kirkley-fried Four years ago, Emil Bekyarov arrived in America, from Bulgaria, with only $400 in his  pocket.  Yesterday, he received the Georgia Green Loans “Greenovation” Award for his  metro-area  recycling business, B Green Services, LLC.

Bekyarov started out in his new country by washing dishes at restaurants and sleeping on the  floor wherever he worked.  There, in these kitchens, his business idea was born. “I thought,  wow, these people have so much. They throw so much away. So I saw an opportunity to  recycle glass bottles from bars,” Bekyarov said.  “Also, like a lot of entrepreneurs, I fell into  the right place at the right time and here we go–we had a recycling company.” Bekyarov and  his fiancee, Angela Mattoon, founded the company in 2009. B Green Services provides  recycling to hospitality businesses, restaurants, catering companies and shopping centers inside  the Perimeter, including Hilton, Marriot, and Turner Properties.

“The “Greenovation” Award is given to the ACE-funded entrepreneur whose business  exemplifies the principle of preserving the environment,” Dorothy Yates Kirkley, Georgia  Green Loans Advisory Council Chair, said.   Kirkley presented the award to Emil at  ACE’s Holiday Awards Luncheon at Druid Hills Golf Club.

ACE provided Bekyarov with a Georgia Green Loan to refinance a truck loan with a punitive  interest rate. The new loan improved his cash flow significantly and as the business continues  to grow, Emil is planning to add a second truck. In his acceptance speech, Bekyarov thanked  ACE and also cited the assistance of Andy Fried, the Small Business Development Center  consultant who helped him with his business plan.

To reach B Green Services, call 404-660-1392 or visit www.bgreenservices.com.

Photo caption: Emil Bekyarov, Dorothy Yates Kirkley, Andy Fried

Green Architect Featured on Fox Series, Launches New Design Line

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Award-winning architect Johnna Barrett of Roswell, GA, is in the forefront of sustainable home design. Her innovative home plans feature  a delightful blend of modern functionality and touches of mid-century   charm. Taking this a step further, Johnna is creating a new line called Modern Classic, which will incorporate features from Craftsman, Arts & Crafts, and Prairie styles. Built in the early 1900s and influenced by notables such as Frank Lloyd Wright, these styles are uniquely American, comfortable and beautiful.

Johnna also does custom design, and a LaGrange, GA, project for outdoorsman Joey Mines resulted in a unique opportunity–the construction is being followed on Mines’ show, Outdoors with Joey Mines. More information about the project, including video footage and an interview with Johnna can be found here:

Sustain House for Joey Mines

Johnna was the recipient of the 2009 Green Innovator award from Georgia Green Loans. She obtained a green loan for business expansion. She also is a member of the Georgia Green Loans Advisory Council.

Sweet Summer Treat!

westside-logo1Georgia Green Loans Helps Ice Cream Company Expand

Founded in 2010 by Maggie Rentz and Greg Smith, Westside Creamery produces small-batch ice cream from locally grown ingredients. All milk and cream used produced by Johnston Family Farm in Newborn, Georgia, while  fruits are grown by a number of local farms. Flavors change according to ingredients available and currently include mint sweet tea, lemon buttermilk sorbet, honey apricot, raspberry framboise sorbet, and many more.

As their website says, the ice cream satisfies not just your inner truck-chasing child, but your grown-up, earth-friendly locavore too. Through a loan from Georgia Green Loans, Westside Creamery was able to purchase an ice cream truck to facilitate the transfer of their frozen treats.  Ice cream from Westside Creamery is available at the Sandy Springs Farmers Market, The Mercantile, and online .

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Georgia Green Loans Helps Recycling Business Expand

emil_part2 Emil Bekyarov, owner of B Green Services, approached ACE and Georgia  Green Loans for financial assistance to expand his recycling  business. Since opening in October 2009, business has doubled,  however continued growth has been hampered by its cash availability.  He was handcuffed with a $998 monthly payment for a hauling truck,  and desperately needed cash in order to invest in containers (both 95-  gallon single stream containers and 3 yd. containers) for additional  customer accounts.  Georgia Green Loans stepped in to refinance  the truck note, which had a 23.5% interest rate. This moveallows them to  invest their interest savings into expansion plans.

B Green Services provides full-service recycling solutions for restaurants, hotels, special events, catering companies, shopping centers, and the hospitality industry throughout the greater Atlanta area. Future plans include positioning the company for second truck and hiring a part-time employee.

To learn more, please visit:

B Green Services

Emil Bekyarov, President B Green Services

(404)660-1392

emil@bgreenservices.com

Georgia Green Loans thanks Sandra Cummins with Southeast Green for the referral–a solid partnership at work!

Stylish Eco-Friendly Products Encourage Green Gifting

DECATUR, GA. You recycle, bike to work, and use green cleaning products. But how can you green your gift-giving? ecosource Home and Garden makes it easy by offering “stylish and cool” garden kits, plant containers and dishes–all made with biodegradable materials like rice hulls and coconut fiber.

Founder Chuck Rose and his partner, Chad Callihan, believe that if consumers are offered style, the right price, and convenience, they will choose eco-friendly over traditional products. “Consumers want to do the right thing,” Rose said. “We’re encouraging them to make better choices.”

Judging by the hundreds of retailers across the United States and Canada carrying ecosource products, that intuitive savvy is paying off. Rapid expansion in customer base and product development led the partners to seek working capital financing in 2009. A loan from Cleveland, Georgia-based nonprofit Georgia Green Loans is enabling them to continue their growth trajectory.

In business since 2006, both Rose and Callihan come from corporate backgrounds. Rose worked at Coke in human resources, then owned his own consulting firm. Callihan has sold home furnishings and held a range of designer positions. The move toward sustainability in large corporations inspired them to “try to do something ourselves” to have a positive environmental impact. Callihan’s background in horticulture and design–he first ran a greenhouse at age thirteen–suggested a focus on gardening products.

After identifying the best manufacturer of biodegradable plant-based containers, they launched a line of garden pots made of coconut fiber and rice hulls, coir™ and greenPots™. These are sold mainly through garden centers and are a good alternative to plastic and ceramic, with a life of about five years. According to Rose, the price for their pots can’t compete with the standard, non-recyclable black plastic pots used by nurseries for container sales, so the duo decided to focus on the gift side of home and garden.

The greenPots lent themselves to packaged bulbs, flowers and candles, and since the pot is the packaging, they were a big hit at gift trade shows. A line of rice-hull dishes, grenware™, won a place on Time Magazine’s 2009 The Green Design 100 list. The company received Co-op America’s Green Business Network seal of approval and has been featured on HGTV and in over two dozen consumer magazines.

A new line of garden kits for 2010 is being received enthusiastically. As Rose points out, the recession-spurred interest in home gardening is boosting ecosource sales at a time when many green products are perceived as a luxury. The 2010 gift line includes kits for vegetables, wildflowers, and herbs–even decorative “cat” and “dog” grasses. “We’re making it fun to buy green products,” Rose said.

Buy ecosource products at a local retailer or on-line at Shop Green Village.

– Elizabeth Penney

Babies go green with fair-trade, organic, reusable diapers!

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Leah Carter, owner of Better for Babies, is looking forward to fueling the expansion of her business through a loan from ACE. Based in Carrolton, GA, Better for Babies has been in operation for over six years. The mother of two small children, Leah was inspired by baby products she used in Europe. Better for Babies manufactures and sells natural and organic cotton diapers, diaper bags, nursing clothes, skin care products and nutritional supplements.

More information and online shopping at  <http://www.betterforbabies.com/>

– Elizabeth Penney

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