September 8, 2010 8:46 AM
Gonzales, Texas entrepreneur Henry Schmidt must have seemed like a poster child for a small business loan program or an economic development grant program. Schmidt had many years of business experience under his belt, working as a sales manager for used oil collection company Midstate Environmental Services. Then, like many men and women who have spent enough time working for other people, he decided that he would like to start his own business. He looked around and realized that the Texas self storage industry was ripe for expansion.
What Schmidt didn’t realize at first was that he qualified for a grant program designed to stimulate economic development and encourage the development of small businesses. Many such small economic development grant programs exist at the state and local level in different states, but entrepreneurs are not always aware of programs that they may qualify for. Schmidt wound up receiving a $25,000 economic development grant in addition to his loan, and used it to buy two self storage facilities. The facilities were side by side, so Schmidt put a security fence around both and made them one business -- Apache Storage. Apache opened its doors for business in July. [More]