Loan Closing: Two businesses expand with the help of TEDC

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TEDC Creative Capital (aka Tulsa Economic Development Corporation) is a not-for-profit, community development financial institution formed in 1979 as a catalyst for economic development. The corporation supports small businesses through learning programs and lending opportunities.

On the lending side of things, when a small business owner gets approved for a loan and is ready to sign the dotted line, they go through a closing process. Once a loan is closed, the business receives funds and soon begins the repayment journey.  

On February 8th, two businesses closed on a loan with TEDC Creative Capital (TEDC). R&I Hospitality as well as Above and Beyond Gymnastics signed loan closing documents to receive funds that will help expand their businesses. 

R&I Micro Loan Closing

R&I is a hospitality company that runs a Studio 6 franchise, an extended stay motel. The owners are Muhammad Riaz and Muhammad Israr, and they closed on a microloan to help restock from depleted inventory after COVID.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) lends capital to TEDC, which is then used to fund micro loans for Oklahoma startups and small businesses.

TEDC’s average microloan is $12,000 with a maximum of $50,000. The loan must be repaid within six years. TEDC offers very competitive interest rates. 

“I’m very grateful for them helping me and making me come so far in my life,” Israr said.

R&I TEDC History

R&I closed on their first property in 2016 with a 504 loan, another SBA program provided by TEDC for fixed asset lending. A bank partner was also involved in the transaction.

“Being a first time buyer, we had to get SBA involved because banks say if you get the SBA involved they’d be more comfortable,” Israr said. 

“At first it was difficult just to convince the bank, and then once we met with (TEDC CEO) Rose Washington, she put her trust in us and then slowly, gradually we kept moving the ball. I still remember even after the closing, TEDC helped us navigate our payments and other loan requirements.” 

TEDC also helped R&I navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. “Whenever I need help or something is going on, they’re always helpful,” Israr said. “When the COVID time came, I remember all the hospitality businesses took a big hit. So (Loan Closings & Compliance Manager) Joanna Oxford helped us navigate and talked to SBA on our behalf. Deferring our payments at that time, helped make sure that we sustained business.”

Israr recommends TEDC to other borrowers looking for help starting their business. “I’m pretty sure they can make things work because they’ve been doing this for a long time. They helped me with my difficult loan,” Israr said. TEDC offers loans of all sizes and for many different purposes. 

“I think if anybody else has difficulty getting their loan approved by a bank, TEDC can help them with good customer service, timely close and good communication.” 

Above and Beyond Gymnastics Loan Closing Combo

Established in October of 2021, Above and Beyond Gymnastics was growing faster than expected. 

“We started off with a small skeleton crew and were just getting our feet on the ground and then all of a sudden, we just had this huge explosion of students and started hiring more staff and it’s just been pretty incredible to see the growth that we’ve had,” said Above and Beyond Gymnastics Co-owner Cindy Heisterberg. “I think it’s because we’re so centrally located in Tulsa.”

The company was looking for a loan to help support their growth, but banks wouldn’t take a chance on them because they were so new.

“Basically, nobody would talk to us because we hadn’t been in business for two years, but we were growing so fast that right now we have the third largest gym in Tulsa,” Heisterberg siad. 

TEDC Creative Capital empowers new businesses with start-up funding, and closed on a combination loan with Above and Beyond Gymnastics. The loan was funded through two sources: the SBA Microloan program and City of Tulsa CDBG loan program. 

“The main thing is just upgrading our equipment and having the ability to hire the staff that we need for the inflow that’s coming, versus trying to play catch up to the number of students that we have,” Heisterberg said. “Because we were funded by TEDC, we will continue to grow on a stable footing.”

Above and Beyond Gymnastics Mission

Above and Beyond Gymnastics teaches all ages, from baby crawlers to adult classes. Co-owner Christian Alexander described the mission behind the title of their company.

“We teach gymnastics first of all, but we’re also trying to help shape good humans, people that love and support everybody,” Alexander said. “We want to be there for the people that can’t afford it, and help them reach their dreams even if it’s not super feasible for that family at that time.”

“We also want to be a safe place for athletes, we want to make sure that there’s somewhere that everyone can call home and somewhere that they feel safe to tell us things that are going on in their lives. ​​We wanted to have a place for kids that are in toxic environments and unhealthy situations to run to basically, but we also want to be able to help teach them to support each other and be there for each other.”

Above and Beyond is about creating an environment free of hyper competitiveness and stress, and more about going the extra mile to create a space for growth and development.

“We want to make sure that we’re going above and beyond for the kids and for the families,” Alexander said. “We want to make sure that we’re projecting that and we’re not just saying that just for fun. But we also want the kids to know that that’s something that they should strive for too.”

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 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, and Schusterman Family Philanthropies.