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Last Update: Wednesday June 16, 2021

Key Idea: Make The Banker Say Yes

Bankers don't take risk so you must demonstrate how you will repay a loan.

Key Question:


Debra was determined to  get a bank involved in the to financing of EcoNatural.  First Debra demonstrated that others had invested in her idea. She attended the conference on social responsibility and met the women who invested $10,000. Then Debra found a second woman who invested because she is a consumer of health food products and liked the fact that the mints are vegetarian and taste good too.

Next, she went to the Chamber of Commerce who put her in touch with a man from the Small Business Administration who helped put the business plan in writing. In fact, the SBA also sent her to the community college for more free business advice.

Why did Debra call her next step the "bank dance?"

One would assume that if a bank advertises that it is a preferred SBA lender it isloaning money on new businesses, but this is not the case.  She had to go  round and round with many bankers in her area.  They all said no to her first request then she kept going back and finally got an approval.  Keep in mind that the loan came from her former banker and Deborah reminded him that she had put plenty of money through his operation.

Think about it

What would you do with a big pile of cash?  Do you have an opportunity?  Could you convince a banker that your idea is viable?  Do you have a house to put on the line?

Clip from: St. Claire's Mints & Organic Sweets (EcoNatural Solutions)

Boulder, Colorado: Debra St.Claire started her business, EcoNatural Solutions in 1993 to begin manufacturing  a totally organic breath mint and a healthy candy for children and adults.  She is an herbalist, naturalist, and vegetarian. When she learned that there was beef gelatin in her favorite peppermints, she was so disappointed, she said, "I'll make my own!"

Today St.Claire's Organic Sweets are on thousands of store shelves around the world.

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St. Claire's Organics started as EcoNatural Solutions, Inc.

St. Claire's Organic Sweets, a global business

6235 Lookout Road
Boulder, CO 80301

Visit our web site:

Office: 303-527-1554

Business Classification:
food processing

Year Founded: 1993

Make The Banker Say Yes

DEBRA: I went to the Chamber of Commerce and said, `I'm a woman entrepreneur. I'm struggling. I've got a good idea and I've proven it can sell. Where can I get money because no bank is going to touch me with a 10 foot pole.'

So they put me in touch with a man who helped people put together their applications for the Small Business Administration, and he guided me through the process, along with another man from one of the local community colleges. So community colleges are also a place where you can go get free business advice. And believe me, when you're starting out, get as much free business advice as you can because the advice you pay for is probably no better.

Now where can I find a bank that will say yes? And then it was the bank dance. It's like, go to this bank, they say no; go to this bank, they say no; go to this bank, they say no. So what I did when I had done the whole circuit of banks that were preferred SBA lenders is, when they all said no, I went back to the first one and I said, `Please reconsider because I'm going to do this. With or without you, I'm going to do this.' They said no again. And I said, `You know what? That's my bank, I've already put four businesses through that bank, they don't have a right to say no to me.' I went back in and said, `No, I'm not going to accept your no. I'm going to do this. I've proven that this product can sell. I've put lots of money through your bank in my past businesses. You need to give me a loan and make it work.' And, Hattie, they said yes.

Bank loans are hard to get on a start-up company when your product's not in the marketplace.

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