Lenders help give new life to shop

The restored, 100-year-old facade at Tip Top Coffee Shop in downtown Thomas beckons customers inside the successful business. The business was bolstered last spring by a low-interest, fixed-rate loan through Woodlands Community Lenders (WCL), a new, local nonprofit that loans to area businesses.

With this loan, Tip Top was able to extend business hours, expand seating capacity, and begin serving meals, as well as purchase new furniture and equipment. These changes, alongside a focus on local, organic ingredients, have helped Tip Top become a mainstay of the community.

Cade Archuleta, owner of Tip Top, underscored WCL’s positive impact, saying, “My experience in dealing with Woodlands has been so very pleasant. From day one, it was clear that they were going to do as much as possible to help a small and fairly new business like Tip Top succeed. Small businesses need a little help to grow sometimes, and I am extremely grateful that there is a resource like Woodlands in our area.”

Woodlands Community Lenders’ mission is to foster economic development and downtown revitalization in underserved communities throughout Randolph, Barbour, and Tucker counties. It hopes to see similar results for every area served by its loans.

WCL, an affiliate of Woodlands Development Group, provides low-interest loans funded by grants, donations, and federal relending programs. Eligible businesses, commercial property owners and nonprofits can use these loans to help cover equipment, operating fees, building rehab or improvements, and other costs associated with start-up or expansion. In addition to capital, WCL provides technical assistance to help support overall and daily operations, such as business plan development, marketing, and accounting.

To apply for any of Woodlands Community Lenders loans or for more information, visit to www.wclwv.org or contact Marti Neustadt at Woodlands Development Group at 304.636.6495 or email info@wclwv.org.