Taahirah Nadir has dedicated her life to caring for children in need-offering services through the New Orleans foster care system; running a home-based day care center for children with special needs; and then establishing, together with her husband Sharif, the Clearhead Learning Center-all while raising three kids of her own, and adopting three foster children along the way.
Hurricane Katrina dealt a severe blow to Taahirah's small business: the premises were damaged, supplies destroyed, and her client base was decimated. To make matters worse, as a result of the financial hardship her credit rating took a hit.
The capital to recover
To get the center going again, Taahirah applied for loans through the Small Business Administration and a local bank, but both lenders turned her down because of her damaged credit. Then she and Sharif sought help from Hope Community Credit Union and ACCION USA, which granted them a $15,000 loan to replace materials and to repair their building. "Every little bit helps to keep us going," Taahirah says gratefully.
Since then, business has begun to boom again for the Clearhead Learning Center. "As more families are returning home after Katrina, there is a growing need for child care services," Taahirah explains. Having childcare available helps these families get back to work, further advancing the city's economic recovery.
A safe place for children in New Orleans
Taahirah's next goal for the center is to improve its quality of service by investing in professional development for her staff. She is also looking to expand the business by renovating another floor of the building to open a party room to rent out. "This neighborhood doesn't have a safe area for children to play," she explains. Taahirah's hope is that these investments will help her "to serve all of the needs of the children."
Get the boost your business needs
Clearhead Learning Center is one of dozens of businesses that have grown due to loans from ACCION USA. If you need capital to get your business going, apply for a small business loan online today.