Table of Contents:
“TEDC has been amazing,” said Tracy Smith, Owner of Angel Academy Early Learning Center. “When I first had that desire, a vision to open up a daycare center, I started searching for the resources out there and TEDC was one of the resources I contacted. They directed me to talk to the right people to get a business plan started.”
Smith began Angel Academy in 2006 when TEDC gave her a SBA 504 loan to help her buy her first day care location on 2134 S 109th E Ave. They also gave her a second loan two years ago that helped her purchase a second location on 1423 S Garnett Rd.
“I was young starting out, and didn’t really have good credit, but they said that they could work with me,” Smith said. “All the resources and finances I needed, they were there for me.”
TEDC’s SBA 504 Loans
SBA 504 loans from TEDC Creative Capital could cover up to forty percent of total project costs for small business owners. The SBA 504 loan is a long-term, fixed-rate loan which can help small businesses make a large purchase like land, buildings and long-life equipment.
TEDC Creative Capital is a Certified Development Company partnering with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to offer the 504 Loan Program. TEDC originates the business loan that is ultimately approved and funded by the SBA.
“TEDC is an awesome place,” Smith said. “It’s well needed especially for small businesses, minorities, and women of color. It’s a great place to go and get started and have your vision and your dream come to life. And so to have a place like that to go to is just an amazing experience. They’re a great company.”
Angel Academy Early Learning Centers
Angel Academy is an early learning center that takes care of children aged 5 weeks to 12 years old. Their first center added over 19 jobs to the community. Their first center cares for 87 to 90 children, and Angel Academy II holds an average of 60 children.
“Angel Academy is the place where children come to learn, to grow, to be nurtured,” Smith said. “I believe in developing the whole child. As far as their physical abilities, cognitive, emotional, social, emotional behavior, we just try to just make sure every aspect of the child is developed because we’re trying to prepare them for school and then for life.”
What sets Angel Academy apart from other early learning centers is that they are very family oriented. They also go above and beyond with children that have behavioral problems by providing counseling services on site and behavioral health specialists that do screenings of children that may have a problem.
Angel Academy offers extended hours, tutoring programs, and before and after school programs. They also have weekend workshops for parents and the community.
“We try to focus on our school age programs,” Smith said. “We try to prepare them for being at home by themselves, to know their address, to know emergency numbers, to know how to take care of emergency situations.”
That preparation includes getting them into a CPR/First Aid course to prepare them after they leave the early learning center at 13.
Tracy Smith, Business Owner
Smith comes from a family of educators and that is what inspired her to get into the daycare field.
“All my aunts, cousins, almost everybody in the family is either a teacher, a counselor or owned their own center,” Smith said. “So when I was young, my aunt, she was an elementary teacher and she would take me with her to her classroom. And something within me just just came alive.”
“Something bubbled up on the inside of me, and I was like, ‘Oh, I really want to be an educator one day’ so I would help her to do her bulletin boards and help her prepare her classroom for her students. So I love working with children. I like to see them grow. I like to see them develop. They have come back after they leave Angel academy and say hi, I even had some come back to even get a job here.”
Smith’s first priority in child care is safety.
“I just want families and parents to feel safe, and when they know that their children are with us, that the children are safe,” Smith said. “They don’t have to worry about their child when they go to work. They can be assured that they are going to be in a safe environment and a loving environment and a nurturing environment and a learning environment. That’s my goal.”
For more information about Angel Academy, you can visit the Angel Academy website.
“Educating children is my purpose in life,” Smith said “I like to teach children about kindness, morality, manners, etiquette, generosity, how to share and love.”
About TEDC Creative Capital
TEDC Creative Capital (aka TEDC) is a community development financial institution (CDFI) providing progressive lending to promising start-up and growing businesses. TEDC builds equitable economic prosperity by helping small companies operate more successfully, create jobs, and advance communities! Loans range from $500 to $10 million.
Visit the TEDC website or call 918-585-8332 for more information on loan and entrepreneurial education programs! If you’re not a business owner but want to explore ownership, please contact TEDC! If you know someone who may need TEDC assistance, please share this story!
TEDC’s ongoing funding partners include the City of Tulsa (U.S. HUD CDBG), PartnerTulsa, Tulsa County, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the CDFI Fund of the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Economic Development Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bank of Oklahoma, Chase, and GKFF.