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'It changes everything for us' | Small business loan enbaling owners of popular chocolate and wine shop to buy a building, relocate

The amount of money being handed out from the SBA is on the rise, and business owners say that's good news all the way around.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — There may be a great resignation but that doesn’t mean people aren’t working harder than ever. In fact, many are starting small businesses. Small business license applications have skyrocketed – and so have small business loans.

'It changes everything for us'

A popular wine and chocolate shop in Myers Park is about to get a new home -- and the owners are getting a new lease on life -- all thanks to a small business loan.

"It changes everything for us," Petit Phillipe co-owner Casey Hickey said.

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Hickey and her husband Mark Meissner own Petit Philippe and are about to move their shop to a building they'll own.

Credit: WCNC

"For us, it's incredibly freeing and also terrifying to have an asset that large but it means we're investing in ourselves instead of investing in a big corporation," Hickey said.

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After 12 years of renting space, the couple just bought a building on Park Road and plan to move the shop here this fall.

"It means we get control over how we use the space what we do to it," Hickey explained. "It just gives us one more factor when we’re ready to retire we know we have a turnkey solution for a potential new owner."

'That loan meant that we could do this'

The chocolatier, who makes everything by hand at the shop, said the loan is the only reason they're able to make this big move.

"100% crucial,"  Hickey said. "We don’t have the cash flow to pay for a building that's over 5,000 square feet and then to be able to pay for that upfit. That loan meant that we could do this, without it we wouldn’t be purchasing that building."

From 2019 to 2021, there was a 62.03% increase in approved dollars for small business loans nationwide, according to business.org.

"Small businesses are the largest employers in the country," Hickey said. "Every dollar you spend at a small business turns into three dollars for your local economy so everybody wins, our entire country wins when small businesses succeed."

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In fact, according to business.org, $73 billion in small business loans has supported 1.2 million jobs since the pandemic started.

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Hickey says they’re grateful to be included in those stats and says while they had two of their best years during COVID-19, they are being impacted by shipping delays and inflation as they work to get the new shop built. Still, they're hopeful they'll be up and running in time for the holiday season.

Contact Michelle at mboudin@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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