In 2003, Erwin & Marilynn Holtsoi were ready to start their own trucking business on the Navajo Nation. They qualified for the Navajo preference list and knew there was a lot of opportunity for independent contractors to haul hay, corn, and potatoes for the Navajo Agricultural Products Industry. All they needed were a truck and trailer to do the work – but how to finance it?
The Holtsois then met The Loan Fund’s Cathy Sorenson at a presentation. In a personal consultation with Sorenson, the need for a business plan and cash flow projection was discussed. Marilynn, a caseworker with the BIA who had never prepared either any kind of business plan or projection, went home and put together what Sorenson calls “one of the more thorough loan packages I’ve ever been given.”
With a loan from The Loan Fund, the Holtsois purchased an older truck and trailer to start their hauling business. The venture was soon a success, with Erwin driving the truck and Marilynn keeping the books. As a result of their diligence, Marilynn and Erwin even paid off the loan early, while supporting their family.
The hard-working couple recently approached The Loan Fund for additional financing so they could buy a more reliable truck. The new truck would mean more and better business year-round for the Holtsois, enabling Erwin to safely haul heavier loads of lumber and rebar on longer trips during the agricultural off-season. It was a joyous day when they drove from Crownpoint to Albuquerque to take possession of their Peterbilt truck. Given their entrepreneurial spirit and commitment, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Holtsois eventually own an entire fleet!