Five Inspiring Small Business Loan Success Stories

by | Jan 3, 2023 | Business Finance, Business Strategy, Resources, Small Business | 0 comments

Five Inspiring Small Business Loan Success Stories

Did you know that some of the biggest brands in the world borrowed money to start or expand their businesses? Whether you operate a startup or an established company, most small business owners find themselves in need of financing at some point on their path to profitability.

Business loans can be used for everything from buying inventory to equipment purchases to hiring staff to location expansion. Accessing the right funding program could help your business grow far beyond its humble beginnings, as it did for the entrepreneurs highlighted below.

Here are five of our favorite small business loan success stories.

Whole Foods

“John Mackey, founder, and CEO of Whole Foods, began his foray into salubrious living with a health food store in Austin established in 1978. He borrowed $10,000 to start the store, which was originally named SaferWay. That store grew into a small chain that eventually merged with a larger natural grocer. This merger helped create Whole Foods Market, which is now estimated to be worth around $16 billion.”

Source: American Express

Chobani Yogurt

“Hamdi Ulukaya, 46, founded Chobani after immigrating to New York from Turkey to study English in 1994, according to Forbes. Ulukaya received a $3,000 loan from the Small Business Administration in 2007 and used it to buy an old yogurt plant in Norwich, New York. Chobani now sells over $1 billion of yogurt annually and is America’s most popular brand of Greek yogurt, Forbes reports.”

Source: Business Insider


“In 1965, Fred DeLuca received a loan of $1,000 from a family friend, Peter Buck, to start a submarine sandwich shop. Buck became DeLuca’s partner, and they opened the first Pete’s Super Submarine in Bridgeport. The shop’s name was later changed to Subway in 1968. Subway is now the world’s largest submarine sandwich chain and has more than 44,000 locations in over 100 countries, according to its website.”

Source: The Connecticut Post


“Steve Ells witnessed first-hand the popularity of the taquerias in San Francisco’s Mission District while working for famed chef Jeremiah Towers at Stars restaurant. He whiffed the big opportunity of good guac and launched the first Chipotle in Denver in 1993 with the help of an $85,000 loan from his father, who calculated that his son would have to sell 107 burritos per day to turn a profit. Chipotle is now valued at more than $1.245 billion.”

Source: American Express


“Sam Walton opened his first store with almost nothing to his name. He purchased a Ben Franklin franchise in Newport, Arkansas, using a $25,000 loan from his father-in-law.

Walton ran the business with his younger brother and successfully grew the franchise to own 15 stores. But the company that managed the franchise chain was unwilling to expand into rural areas, which prompted Walton to start his own business.

Walton opened his first Walmart store, and it quickly became a success. Today, Walmart is the largest retailer in the country.”

Source: U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Need cash to grow your business?

First Union Lending is here to help. We want our clients to thrive and ultimately succeed. This is why we have several fast and flexible business loan programs available. With resources ranging from $5K to $1 million, we can get you the cash you need right now—not weeks or months from now. Some businesses even get funded in as little as two days. Call us at 863-825-5626 today!

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