The Linen Locker LLC of Manatee County
Dave Walstad runs a successful business with multiple locations spread throughout the region. Headquartered in Bradenton, Walstad’s businesses, All Star Laundry and Dry Cleaning and All Star Scrubs, Shoes and Chef, are located throughout the region from Venice to Palmetto.
As Hurricane Irma approached, business came to a screeching halt as customers and employees alike, fled the state. Once the hurricane passed, business was slow to return to normal as people focused on finding food and gas, versus dropping off their dry cleaning. As his nearly 50 employees in the locations worked overtime to get business back on track, Walstad found himself in a cash flow crunch.
He promptly reached out to the Florida SBDC at University of South Florida for assistance in applying for the Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan, to alleviate the issue. When asked about his experience with the storm and the assistance received, he recalled:
What type of damage occurred?
Hurricane Irma, as we know was predicted to be catastrophic. It affected us with some damage but also affected the lives of our staff as they left the state. We had some building damage. The business loss was substantial. Most locations had no power, no Internet, no web store, no capability to do anything. Almost all of our locations had a lot of wind damage. The business loss flowed into October because a lot of people lost everything else, the last thing they are looking to do is drop off laundry – they’re looking for food and gas. Very much a cash flow issue. We only received an insurance payment on one location because each one has its own deductible. We had a lot of corporate accounts who are in the same boat. Now we’re paying overtime just to recover from the situation.
How will the Bridge Loan help?
This will allow us to make the repairs and keep our employees paid while we make up the time we lost and try to get back to normal.
How was the Florida SBDC at USF helpful during this process?
I think from a loan standpoint it was a very easy process. Kyle was excellent and very easy to work with. I certainly would recommend it to anybody in the future. It was pleasant to hear his voice saying you’re approved, congratulations! We’ll look at future marketing assistance because it’s beneficial and people just don’t know about it.