Being Nimble

Using an SBA Guarantee, Montana & Idaho CDC was able to provide David and Mara Lee flexible financing as their business expanded.

Bitterroot Gymnastics

7 years of ownership

5,000 sq ft expansion of facility

4 jobs created

30 years as a gymnast

30 years the business has been in Missoula

550 average number of children served at the facility

Dedication. Persistence. Teamwork. David Stark teaches these qualities every day at Bitterroot Gymnastics. He bought the business in 2004 after years of learning the ropes—first as a student and then as an employee. By the time he became the owner, he knew just how to realize the gym’s potential. By applying his strong teaching principles and a well-thought-out business strategy, he was quickly able to reduce costs, improve service, and grow the gym into a successful enterprise. In fact, he grew the business so well that he was soon in need of a much larger and more costly space.

But Bitterroot Gymnastics couldn’t find the money to make the jump to the larger facility. Solid profits, great income potential, and a steady customer base weren’t enough to overcome the lack of strong collateral and guarantees needed to qualify for traditional financing. Still, David kept knocking on doors.

His timing was excellent. Montana & Idaho CDC had just introduced a new lending product in Montana: the Community Advantage guarantee program from the

US Small Business Administration, which allows strong businesses and entrepreneurs who show the potential for success to borrow money with little or no collateral.

With Montana & Idaho CDC’s first loan through the Community Advantage guarantee program, David was able to lease an industrial warehouse in Missoula and transform it into a thriving business that provides children and families throughout our community with a safe space to learn and practice. In addition, the larger space allowed David to open a movement-based preschool, expanding the options for education in Missoula.

Coupled with David’s hard work, Montana & Idaho CDC’s ability to partner with government agencies to bring strong lending programs to Montana has more than proved the importance of David’s motto: Dedication. Persistence. Teamwork.

Missoula, MT

216 Commerce St
Missoula, MT 59808