Starting out by working the counter of a dry-cleaning company in 1990, Kim Berry has three-decades of experience working in the industry. Armed with this experience, Kim and her husband, Dan Berry, decided to open their own dry-cleaning business in Red Bluff, California, where they were just the second dry-cleaning business in town. Opening Crown Cleaners required a lot of blood, sweat, and tears as they built it from the ground up almost five years ago.
The Berry’s had planned to expand their business in 2020, but then COVID hit. As businesses closed and people shifted to work from home, the dry-cleaning industry slowed down as there were fewer office attires, dresses, and suits to clean. Due to the lack of revenue, Kim had to make the difficult decision of letting her employees go. Being on the verge of shutting down Crown Cleaners, Berry knew she needed to seek funding or else the business would have to throw in the towel.
Having worked with CRF on previous financing, Kim immediately turned to the CDFI once she heard about PPP. Through CRF, Kim was able to receive the funds quickly and used both round one and round two PPP loans for payroll and operating expenses. As operations continued, Kim was able to bring back previous employees part-time and hired a new employee full-time.
Although there is still a lot of uncertainty with COVID and business is not back where it used to be, Kim is cautiously optimistic and hopes to expand Crown Cleaners in the future.