Success Stories of Alternative Business Lending: School of the Immaculata

We think it’s important to give business owners a voice. Here is the story of John Giotis, Headmaster of the School of the Immaculata.

Many small businesses in today’s economy have a tough time getting the funding they need to expand or even just continue running business as usual. However, one industry in particular is in a constant struggle to get the financing they need; nonprofits.

A Nonprofit That’s Changing Communities

The School of the Immaculata was opened eleven years ago and is now run by John Giotis, Headmaster for eight years straight. That means Mr. Giotis is in charge of handling all matters as they relate to financing, community outreach, budgeting, regulations and more. What makes this school so unique is that it’s a private voucher school, which is a private school that can compete for public funding from their state.

Located in St. Petersburg, Florida, the School of the Immaculata successfully runs with just nine employees and over 100 students. The school uses a community school approach and seeks to fulfill the academic, spiritual and societal needs of their students and families by providing necessary items like lunch, school uniforms, school supplies, and before and after care, all free of charge.

The School of the Immaculata plays a huge role for the local socio-economic population because it strives to break the school to prison pipeline by providing a nurturing environment and a sound education for their students.

A Search for Funding

Mr. Giotis received an overwhelming number of requests to open up another school less than an hour away in Tampa, Florida. A lot of businesses struggle to receive funding due to poor personal or poor business credit; however, that wasn’t the case with Mr. Giotis. He had great credit, but traditional lenders wanted nothing to do with a small school, let alone a nonprofit.

The number one issue the school faced was their access to capital. A small drycleaner or a small restauranteur may be able to do without certain funding, but in this case, they would be unable to open up another campus without the necessary funding.

“We turned to some traditional financial institutions… and said hey, we are profitable, but we are a small nonprofit and are looking for a little bit of seed money for our second campus and they literally laughed in our faces,” said Mr. Giotis. After getting turned away from traditional lenders, he decided to start researching alternative business loan providers in hopes that someone could help him and his community.

How SnapCap Helped

John Giotis was able to obtain a $10,000 business loan from SnapCap in order to open up their second campus and provide the necessary supplies for their students. What Mr. Giotis liked the most about SnapCap was that they were willing to help when everyone else turned their back on him. Due to SnapCap’s professionalism, fast turnaround and support in his vision, he will definitely return for another loan if needed.

“Without you guys supporting us, we wouldn’t be able to do this. If you ask any of our parents, what they’re most thankful for, it’s our school,” said Mr. Giotis.


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