Fantastic news from our client, Cindy Johnson, owner of Fran Johnson’s Golf & Tennis in West Springfield:
Popular Local Retailer to Re-Open Thanks to Unorthodox “Staying in Business” Campaign
Customers loan $150k for business to Re-Open
West Springfield, Ma – Local retailer, Fran Johnson’s Golf & Tennis in West Springfield, will re-open on Thursday, May 27th after succeeding in an unusual campaign to raise capital from customers and supporters. The store has been closed since March 9th, after owner Cindy Johnson was unable to secure traditional financing to keep the 35-year-old business running. However, Johnson said that as of this week, more than 140 people have pledged over $150k to keep the family-owned business from closing its doors forever. In addition, Johnson has secured funding from the Western Massachusetts Enterprise Fund.
“I’ve been overwhelmed with the outpouring of support we’ve gotten from customers, friends and vendors. Some of our customers even got together and organized a radio-thon, which raised over $2,000 for the campaign,” said Johnson. The pledges which have ranged from $5.00 to $25,000 are considered unsecured loans to the company, according to Johnson, who said they will be repaid. Pledges over $1,000 will receive interest.
Denise B. Dukette, associate director and director of lending at the Western Massachusetts Enterprise Fund (another client of DIF Design), praised Johnson for having the courage to ask for help and support she needed while there was still time to save the store. “So many times after a business has closed you hear people say they wish they had known and would have done more. In taking her campaign to the public, Cindy was able to let people know what she was facing and the response is a testament to what she, as a small business owner, stands for.”
Johnson said she kicked off the campaign despite naysayer’s from more traditional lending circles who said it would never work. “I listened to what they had to say and then made the decision to move forward anyway. Our store has been a mainstay in the community for so many years that I believed people would want to help keep us around.” Most of the store’s employees will be returning to work when the doors re-open on Thursday.
Along with its grand reopening, Fran Johnson’s will now be celebrating its 35th anniversary.
For more information, visit www.franjohnsons.com