Autism and other developmental disabilities have gained increased attention in the last decade. For Licensed Counselors like Germaine Seufert, the demand for targeted treatment has grown alongside greater public awareness and Medicaid coverage for more children in Colorado. So much so that Germaine had to register her independent practice as a business to maintain government contracts she received to provide comprehensive direct services to more children in their homes, schools, and communities.
This “accidental beginning” was the catalyst for Germaine’s business, Consultants for Children. “Autism is so highly recognized,” she stated. “And Colorado has become one of the best covered states for autism to be addressed. Every kid who needs services can almost always find a way to get the services they need.” This ability to work with any child in Colorado, as supported through her exclusive Medicaid contract, proved opportune for Germaine who hired more staff to meet demand for treatment programs along the Front Range.
Colorado Enterprise Fund Involvement
The challenge for Germaine’s growing business was cash flow which is cyclical and largely dependent on insurance companies reimbursing service providers like her. She needed to pay her staff first before these reimbursements arrived so she researched lenders for a line of credit (LOC) and found Colorado Enterprise Fund (CEF) listed on the SBA website.
“I had used Acción before but they couldn’t do an LOC for me,” recalled Germaine. “I didn’t want to restrict growth for my small business so I pursued this financing option with CEF.” She also worked with CEF’s Business Acceleration Services (BAS) team of consultants who provided her with a cash flow dashboard to stay on track.
The result has been an upsurge in clients served by Consultants for Children through new 10-week summer camp programs, the expansion of operations to Fort Collins and Longmont, and the growth in staff to almost 90 full- and part-time employees, including contractors. Germaine also took advantage of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses training program which gave her “actual plans” she could put into place to improve cash flow, as well as connecting her to a nationwide network of other small business owners for support.
Now celebrating her 14th anniversary year as a successful small business owner who has been nominated for several awards, Germaine remembers what led her to CEF. “I have seen many small business owners fail because they didn’t know about the possibilities of alternative lending options to grow their businesses,” remarked Germaine. “CEF helped mine reach the next level by giving me access to capital that I can use whenever I need it.”