JEDCO Finances New Arts Studio in Gretna

KENNER, La. – The Jefferson Parish Economic Development Commission (JEDCO) celebrated the grand opening of a new performing arts facility on Sunday. Creative Dance & Music Studio utilized JEDCO's SBA 504 Loan Program to build a new state-of-the-art training center in Gretna. Details were shared in a press release.

Creative Dance & Music Studio (CDMS) has been serving the West Bank community since 1985. What started as a small, one-room dance class has grown into a program that provides music and dance training to over 220 students a year. CDMS is a family business. Originally called Sissy Laumann Academy of Dance, the name was changed in 2004 when Lori Weil took over the business from her mother. The studio employs 16 people and offers lessons in piano, voice, guitar, ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop and lyrical dance. 

For years, Creative Dance and Music Studio leased a space in Harvey, but Weil always dreamed of owning her space. When the CDMS team identified the right piece of property on which to build, they contacted JEDCO. JEDCO financed over $600,000 of the $1.5 million project through the SBA 504 Loan Program for costs associated with the purchase of land and the construction of a new studio. The SBA 504 Loan Program is specifically designed to support small business owners through fixed-rate financing and borrower equity as low as 10%. 

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"Through the SBA 504 Loan Program, we are able to provide entrepreneurs with the financing needed to accomplish their business goals, achieve their visions for the future, and open their doors," says JEDCO president and CEO Jerry Bologna. "We are proud that our financing ability allowed Creative Dance & Music Studio to realize their dream of owning their own property. The arts play an important role in the cultural development of our community. It is pleasing to learn that CDMS can better serve their clients through access to our loan programs. We look forward to supporting their efforts as they continue to grow, thrive and enhance the creativity of our next generation." 

The SBA 504 Loan program is a powerful economic development loan program that offers small businesses another avenue for business financing, while promoting business growth, and job creation.  The 504 Loan Program provides small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing used to acquire fixed assets for expansion or modernization.  As of February 15, 2012, the $50 billion in 504 loans has created over 2 million jobs across the United States.  This program is a proven success and win-win-win for small businesses, the community and participating lenders. JEDCO has provided SBA 504 Loans to a diverse range of businesses across the state including Atomic Burger, Pel Hughes Printing, Starr Textile Services, Boil Seafood, and many more. 

"JEDCO has been amazing to work with," said Lori Weil, director of Creative Dance and Music Studio. "They facilitated the loan from start to finish, making the process, including SBA, so easy for me. JEDCO's knowledge and helpfulness provided the support and guidance I needed to make this dream a reality. I couldn't have done it as efficiently without their partnership." 

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The new Creative Dance & Music Studio facility is located at 716 Bellemeade Blvd. in Gretna. Learn more about the performing arts studio here. 

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