Infinity Martial Arts Expands in ‘Fastest-Growing’ Wisconsin Rural Market
SUN PRAIRIE, WI – Limited capacity for operation, an expanding rural market and a bank partner familiar with advantageous SBA (Small Business Administration) products, led Troy Gerkey, owner of Infinity Martial Arts, to purchase and renovate a new building in Sun Prairie.
According to the Wisconsin State Journal “Since 2010, Madison, Fitchburg and Sun Prairie have been the three fastest‐growing places in Wisconsin.”
Not only was the community developing, but since opening in 2014, Gerkey’s martial arts business had grown rapidly with increased sales and clientele.
With five years in the fitness and recreational sports market and booming growth in area population, Gerkey knew his previous 2,550 sq ft facility wouldn’t meet the growing demand of current and future customers. Gerkey and his business partner Jeff Sprido spent much time researching possible locations as well as financing options to purchase.
“We had searched for months for a space to lease without finding anything the right size in our budget,” said Gerkey. “The SBA 504 program was recommended to me as an option by Chase Bank. After researching the loan, I decided that it made sense for my business. The main selling point was the below market interest rate, which was the best I could find.”
Gerkey purchased two units of a 5‐unit condo, four miles from his previous location. He then combined the two units into one large unit to fully occupy the 4,425 sq ft of available space. This allowed Gerkey and Sprido to build a pro shop and add a large upstairs viewing area for waiting parents.
Gerkey utilized the SBA 504 program to purchase the condo units, pay for renovation costs and upgrade equipment. The program allowed Gerkey to minimize the cash requirement to only 10‐percent of total expansion cost. Chase Bank financed 50‐percent at market rate and the SBA provided the additional 40‐percent at a fixed, long term, below market rate. The entirety of the loan was administered by Business Lending Partners (BLP), one of Wisconsin’s Certified
Development Companies (CDC).
“I predominantly worked with Karmin Garstecki during the loan process, who was very supportive and enthusiastic throughout the project,” said Gerkey. “The BLP team did a great job making this process as easy as possible for me. I appreciated that immensely.”
Gerkey said he also appreciated how Kevin Huff, Sr. Relationship Manager of Business Banking at Chase Bank, and the SBA were closely aligned and worked together to promptly get the loan approved. Gerkey and Sprido were so committed to expediting this project, they made installment payments to the contractor while applying for financing.
“Karmin and her team were great to work with,” said Huff. “They were very involved in communication and client meetings from the beginning. They provided timely guidance and follow up, which made the approval to funding process go smoothly.”
Infinity Martial Arts previously serviced about 200 students within a 5‐mile radius and have also been invited to demonstrate lessons at local schools as well as provide Bully Busting Workshops on a weekly basis. In addition to increasing the number of students they teach, the expansion will result in the hiring of three employees; one instructor and two assistants.
“It is a sincere honor to work with highly motivated and benevolent individuals like Troy and Kevin,” said Garstecki. “As a loan expert for BLP, it is not only my responsibility to provide financial solutions for business owners, but it’s also a pleasure to help people like Troy achieve their dreams.”
Business Lending Partners (BLP) is a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Certified Development Company (CDC) specializing in processing and servicing SBA 504 loans throughout the State of Wisconsin. BLP has been certified since 1985 and currently has two Wisconsin headquarters, one in Racine and one in Green Bay.
As a division of the Racine County Economic Development Corporation (RCEDC), BLP has knowledge and access to local, State and Federal partners to successfully assist in completing a variety of projects.
For more information about this project and how your company may be eligible for similar incentive programs, contact Carolyn Engel at 262‐898‐7420 or visit blp504.org.