This past August, BECU helped save SNAP's (Spokane Neighborhood Access Partners) financial counseling program, which was about to shut down, with a $62,000 donation. This donation was quickly followed by the establishment of the BECU SNAP Forward Grant program, which provides $5,000 grant awards and six hours of business consulting to three individuals who have participated in SNAP's small business and entrepreneurship program over the past five years.
On September 22, 2016, we hosted a special event with SNAP at our new Spokane Division branch to announce the special recipients of the grant. Benson Porter, BECU CEO, and Lucy Lipinski, SNAP COO, were on hand to congratulate the business owners.
We're excited to introduce the recipients of the SNAP Forward Grants. Chosen by SNAP, these three business owners set new standards for excellence, embody innovative business practices and have a high level of community involvement.
Anvil Welding Instruction
Anvil Welding Instruction is a small vocational school that aims to help young adults and people in life transitions to learn the welding trade - one of the top job growth occupations in Spokane and the greater Northwest.
Anvil Welding Instruction connects with a diverse community. They've had students of many backgrounds including refugees, vocational rehab students, women and veterans. They also teach home/hobby welding classes on weekends for recreational welders.
Anvil Welding Instruction plans to expand its Tig welding programs, which would teach the industry specific skills that their students need to work in the growing aerospace industry. They plan to use the grant to buy new equipment for that program and develop marketing strategies to recruit new students.
Kitchen Spokane is a nonprofit that provides a certified kitchen facility and coaching for food services businesses. The availability of these services has been integral in the continued growth and popularity of new small restaurants, specialty food products, and food trucks in the Spokane and Coeur d'Alene area. As the only certified commissary kitchen in the area, Kitchen Spokane has 65 clients, some of who travel to 40 miles each way to use it, effectively creating a channel for small business job growth.
Kitchen Spokane plans to open a new location in Coeur D'Alene and will use the grant to train a new site manager, freeing up time to work on expansion and promotion.
A&J Transportation LLC
A&J Transportation LLC is a Spokane-based trucking and transportation company that is helping fill the growing demand for truck driving services nationwide. They provide trucking and dispatch services. Using three different on-line dispatch services, A&J is able to keep their trucks moving on the most profitable routes, which benefits their drivers.
Starting as a single owner/truck driver in September 2015, A&J has expanded to include three trucks and five drivers, with plans to grow even more. A&J would like to provide dispatch services to three more independent drivers, purchase two more trucks, and hire two more contract drivers. A&J plans to use the grant money to hire a part-time dispatch trainee to accommodate these additional drivers, and eventually grow that into a full time position.
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