It is some people’s dream to have a family business they could step into once they finish school. But that wasn’t the case with Tony Snow. He grew up as the son of the owner of a construction company, and it was assumed he would join the business after high school.
But Tony had a different view of his future, and that started with the military, and off he went to the Navy. After serving 4 years, Tony was ready to try something new, so he set out for a job in corporate America. He stayed there 12 years, tasked with the unenviable responsibility of reducing headcount and implementing outsourcing in the IT department. During that time, his personal stress reduction resource was a return to his roots – working on construction gigs with Dad on weekends and vacations.
A dozen years in a business suit and tie taught Tony one thing: “I wanted to get dirty!” So, Tony returned to his Dad’s business, the dirty and satisfaction-filled world of making something out of nothing.
“I love it, every bit of it,” Tony says, “even the hard and dirty work like laying block or bricks and pouring concrete. Building is my passion. I just think it’s in my blood.”
“Ultimately, I decided I wanted to do different things from what Dad’s business did, to take on larger, more complex projects, and so I decided to strike out on my own.” That required a new way of doing business, and much of that meant laying out large sums of cash and waiting up to 90 days for payment. For that, you need a solid business plan and a top-notch relationship with a lending institution.
Tony got what he wanted – a chance to work on big projects with major construction companies in the area, and one of those projects was laying all the foundation for REACH Riverside, a new, 600-unit, mixed-income, housing project in northeast Wilmington.
“To undertake a project of this size, I needed up-to-date equipment, access to a bobcat, and lots of materials and supplies. I had some capital already, but I needed a lot more,” said Tony.
For this project, significant working capital was required and to get that kind of capital, required a lender who would take a calculated risk on a business with a short track record. True Access Capital provided an Emergency Relief and Recovery Loan and Grant to Snow & Associates, which included a low-interest loan, where principal and interest was deferred for a year, and a small grant.
“Working with True Access was so different from my experiences with managers at traditional banks, who just wanted me to show up and have everything in order without any assistance whatsoever. My loan officer, Phyllis McCollum, was absolutely wonderful. She was so thorough, willing to instruct me on the process and answer all the questions I had,” Tony said.
And she encouraged me – she’d say “Don’t worry, we’ll get you through this.” And she did just that.
Today Tony has completed his work on phase one of that massive REACH Riverside housing project and is looking forward to phase two, as well as additional projects with several other large construction companies. He says he is sincerely grateful to True Access Capital for being part of his journey.