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Tommy

T-Mac's

West Helena, AR

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Personal Story

My name is Tommy McAlexander, and I am a life-long businessman, born and raised in the Arkansas Delta heartland city of Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. My passion for having a strong work ethic and running a business of my very own dates back to my early childhood days, where I would collect and sell gardening seeds to interested patrons in the neighborhood where I grew up in West Helena. I have been married to my lovely wife for over 37 years, and we have a wonderful daughter, who we love very much (and who is also part of the family business).

For the majority of my career I have been self-employed, with one of the exceptions being during my service in the US Military. I am a veteran of the Vietnam War, where I served in the Army on active and inactive duties from 1969-1973. During that time, I was stationed at Fort Campbell and Fort Knox in Kentucky. I gained a good deal of experience and skill during, and due to my personal drive and tenacity I had reached the rank of Sergeant E-5 at the height of my career. Eventually I was offered a promotion, however, after much reflection on the issue, I realized I had amply served my country and desired to focus more on my family and grow my business pursuits at home.

After leaving the army and working in the automotive industry for a number of years, a partner and I started a cable and fiber-optic construction company in the early 90’s and grew the business from a lowly $10,000 investment to a $5 million gross company within 15 years. We decided to dissolve the company in 2005 due to a downturn in the industry. At this point, I remained semi-retired until February 2011 when I purchased an existing successful family style BBQ & catfish restaurant, which also came with original recipes for sauces, rubs and a host of other mixes.


After working diligently at growing an already successful business, and reaching our goals for our first two years, I am now looking to invest more heavily in the business to help us capture a larger portion of the market. My plan is to open a food truck location in historic downtown Helena, which is on the other side of town from our home location. In time, I look to expand the business even further into the online sales of our unique products and the various BBQ competitions around the country.

Business Description

T-Mac’s is a BBQ and Catfish full-service restaurant located in Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. Started in early 2011, my family and I have worked very hard at establishing a name for T-Mac’s and now after a little over two years our business is on a path toward higher profitability. Our customers range from people who live in the rural towns surrounding Helena-West Helena, inner city families, and tourists coming from all over to take in our region's fine historic and cultural offerings. The quality of our food speaks for itself, and we have some of the happiest customers in the county. We are open for breakfast, lunch and supper Monday through Friday and for special events on the weekends.

What is the purpose of this loan?

I am in the process of opening an extension of the business in Helena, AR. It will be T-Mac's East, in order to serve the professional clients in the down town area. I would use the loan funds to establish a stronger foothold in the downtown food service market.

Tommy's loan is endorsed by Thrive.. The information below explains why his trustee thinks Tommy is a great candidate for a Kiva Zip loan.
How long have you known this person?

1 year - 3 years

Tell us about your relationship with this borrower.

Tommy (Tmac) is one of our most animated and colorful entrepreneurs. He's a man that knows a great opportunity when he sees it. Our relationship with Tmac has been great over the last year, and his business stands as a shining light for the struggling restaurant industry within our county.

He has been humble enough to admit where he needs help, while simultaneously maintaining a great level of tenacity, which allows him to manage many components of his business at once. His daughter, Jill, works side by side with her dad and has been with us through the entire process.

Tell us about this borrower's personality and character, and why you are endorsing him or her for a Kiva Zip loan.

Tmac's character and personality come from his military training and his "do-it-yourself" upbringing. There is no challenge this man will back down from, and when he does get knocked down he gets right back up.

Out of everyone we have worked with in our program, Tmac has one of the highest capacities for understanding innovation and has a unique ability to see a vision for something when most do not.

Tell us about this borrower's business, and why you believe a Kiva Zip loan will contribute to his or her success.

Tmac's business is located on the outskirts of our city and is the best BBQ in the county. Going back to his ability to see a good thing, Tmac purchased an existing restaurant that already had a great track record of success. Under his new ownership, the business has grown and prospered to a place where it would not have made it under previous management.

This loan will help in the purchasing a food truck for his business that will allow him to have a strong foothold in key markets in the county. We foresee no issues in his repayment.

115 Total
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PAYING BACK

A loan of $10,000 helps me to grow my family business, create more jobs, and tap into markets that are not being served well enough in our county.

Disbursed Jun 10, 2013
Repayment Term:
24 monthly payments
Grace Period:
N/A
Listed:
Mar 15, 2013
Disbursed:
Jun 10, 2013
Paying Back:
Jun 11, 2013

About T-Mac's

Industry:
Restaurant / Caterers
Years in Operation:
1 year - 3 years
Badges:
None

What are Borrower Badges?

Borrower Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward borrowers’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

This loan is endorsed by

Trustee Type:
Community/Economic Development 501 (c) (3) Non-Profit
Location:
Helena, AR
Badges:
Badge_repayment_bronze_small
On Zip Since:
Mar 15, 2013
(13 months)
Loans Endorsed:
3
Total Value:
$20,000
Fundraising/Raised:
0
Paying on Time:
2
Paying Back Late:
1
Repaid in Full:
0
Defaulted:
0
Repayment Rate:
92%
Why are you endorsing Tommy?

Tmac's character and personality come from his military training and his "do-it-yourself" upbringing. There is no challenge this man will back down from, and when he does get knocked down he gets right back up.

Out of everyone we have worked with in our program, Tmac has one of the highest ca...

What are Trustee Badges?

Trustee Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward trustees’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.
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