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By Karla Pomeroy
Editor 

Grow Worland funding helps lift aviation business off the ground

 

June 27, 2019



WORLAND — A new aviation business got started last week thanks in part to Worland Mayor Jim Gill’s Grow Worland Initiative and the city partnering with Washakie Development Association.

David Stinson and Tony and Emily Herby started their business, 307 Aviation LLC, earlier this month with the first aerial spraying started last Monday, June 17. 307 Aviation is an aerial applicator business that uses a helicopter to help clients manage weed and pest issues, Tony Herby said.

Herby said, “Emily and I both have degrees in business management and it has been a longtime goal to own a business.  We felt the area’s demand for spraying could support a new business.” He said they have been working toward opening the business for the past two years.

Herby said currently the business is just the three owners, but added, “We have been blessed with family and friends who have donated their time to getting us in the air. Eventually, we would like to bring on some additional employees.”

307 Aviation has one aerial spraying helicopter, a Robinson `66, and one spray truck to refill the spray unit.

Herby said he and Stinson have combined experience of over 30 years of flying and both started as loaders and worked their way into spraying. Stinson started locally and Herby started his work in the Southeast.

GROW WORLAND 

The City of Worland in 2017 had $350,000 from a community development block grant that had been used for the sidewalk loan program where citizens could apply for a low-interest loans to repair and replace sidewalk, or businesses could also use the funds for different projects.

In 2017, Clerk-Treasurer Tracy Glanz told the council that the city has helped several local businesses with the funds but there haven’t been as many in recent years.

WDA Executive Director LeAnn Baker said she had approached the town to find out what their guidelines were for the funding so they could pass that on to businesses. She said that in response, Gill approached Washakie Development Association about operating the economic development program for the city, utilizing the funds for a revolving loan program.

The revolving loan is a “participation” or “gap” loan with local lenders. It would allow businesses to use the funds as collateral or make a down payment on a larger loan or on a piece of equipment.

“Deals that might not be able to work otherwise, can actually work,” Baker said in 2017. “It’s a way of working together with the lenders and not competing with the lenders.”

“It’s a good, positive step forward,” Baker said in 2017. “It’s a real opportunity for our community, to have a way to help businesses and working toward being more business friendly, working toward growing our own. A big part of economic development starts with growing the businesses you have.”

While it took two years for the first business to seek out the funding, it worked well for the Herbys and Stinson.

Tony Herby said, “Bruce Morse from Small Business Development Center in Powell has been a great resource and told us to contact WDA.” In turn WDA told them about the Grow Worland Revolving Loan Fund.

Herby said, “The funding we received made it possible for us to get started. Without it we would not have been able to get up and running this year. We are lucky to live in a community where this type of assistance exists for new businesses.”

Baker said in a recent interview, “This is the first loan from the Grow Worland Business Loan Fund.  The Washakie Development Association was excited to work with Security State Bank to help get this new aerial spraying company off the ground. Jobs were created and a new service business was added. The fund was created from funds entrusted to WDA by the City of Worland and this first loan proves the program can work to help grow our community.”

Gill said this week, “We’re tickled to death.” He said the idea of partnering with WDA was for the city to be able to support “these kind of projects and to help provide a loan to get a new business started.

“We’re excited to be a part of that, to be partnered up with WDA. We’re excited to see them get off the ground and get flying and start making some money so they can repay that loan. We’ll loan some more out through WDA as that progresses.

For more information on 307 Aviation call 307-388-0911, email [email protected] or visit them on Facebook or Instagram.

For more information on the Grow Worland fund contact the WDA at 347-8900.

 
 

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