Triangle Rock Club, hosted a visit from Linda McMahon, head of the Small Business Administration on Thursday during National Small Business Week celebrations. North Carolina Lt. Gov. Dan Forest, SBA Southeast Regional Director Ashley Bell, and SBA North Carolina Director Lynn Douthett joined McMahon for the tour.
During conversations and a press conference with McMahon and Forest, Triangle Rock Club managing partners Andrew Kratz and Joel Graybeal educated and advocated for the indoor climbing gym business.
Kratz and Graybeal shared their completed startup and growth story of how they opened four indoor climbing gyms over a nine year period using SBA’s 504 loan program four times. During the 60-minute visit, SBA Administrator McMahon dug deep into the climbing gym business model, asking questions ranging from membership plans, to social media marketing, to climbing wall construction. She wanted a thorough understanding of how the indoor climbing gym industry operated.
“Capital is important,” emphasized Graybeal. “The SBA has been an integral part of our growth, and the 504 loans have allowed us to purchase and rehabilitate the buildings that host our local climbing communities.” Quipped Kratz, “The Small Business Association’s loans really got us off the ground!”
“The SBA allowed them to seize opportunity when they saw it and continue to push forward,” said McMahon.