Marie Adline Aurubin and her husband have operated the Super Kids Christian Day Care in Miami’s Little Haiti since 1995, caring for children as little as 3 months and as big as 5 years.
The brightly colored fenced school is conveniently located on busy Northeast 54th Street, allowing parents for an easy drop off and pick up on the way to and from work. It’s no wonder then that the demand for the child care soon grew.
However, the school could only take 35 children, leaving the business at the break-even point. Aurubin knew she had to expand. After all, putting kids on a waiting list or turning kids away was not part of the mission.
She needed to find more money, but where?
It’s as if her prayers were answered when Aurubin received an email about a free workshop on access-to-capital assistance and met a finance specialist with the Florida Small Business Development Center at Florida International University.
Working with the Florida SBDC at FIU consultant, who provided financial guidance, she applied for a loan and got the money to expand.
Obtaining the loan with the help of Florida SBDC at FIU, she said, “was so helpful. We are now licensed for 85 children.”
While getting the loan was Aurubin’s primary goal, she said the Florida SBDC at FIU consultant has since become like a member of her family. The school employees have gotten to know the consultant, as did Aurubin’s husband and kids.
“They really care, they didn’t just [help me get] the loan and that was it,” Aurubin said, calling the consultant “an angel.” “She comes here all the time to help me.”
Aurubin said her business has not come easy. She has had to reach for the virtues of patience and perseverance to “make it at the end,” but “it took us a long time.”
She advises other entrepreneurs to do their homework and be as knowledgeable as possible. That includes, she said, using the resources at the Florida SBDC at FIU, which she did not know about — until that fateful email about the workshop appeared a wing and a prayer.