Adventure Alley Children’s Learning Center & Firstrust Bank

When Matt and Heather Ragan, the owners of Adventure Alley Children’s Learning Center decided to refinance a high-interest loan and attempt to purchase the facility located in the Lawncrest section of Northeast Philadelphia they had leased for the past 10 years, they approached PIDC. With the purchase, they could expand their services and install a fire sprinkler system in the basement. This project was a perfect fit for PIDC’s newly piloted Commercial Mortgage Loan which supports small businesses and nonprofits that need financing to purchase buildings they either currently occupy or intend for relocation. Realizing that a lending partner was needed to fully fund the project, PIDC introduced the Ragan’s to Firstrust Bank Vice President and Business Banker, Patty DiStasio.

“Like Firstrust, PIDC believes in supporting business growth in the communities we serve.” -Patty DiStasio

Firstrust Bank is a third generation, family owned bank, that has been committed to cultivating prosperity for their customers and the communities in the Philadelphia region for more than 85 years. Patty served as a trusted advisor, based on her expertise within the local business market and her understanding of the critical need for capital to help small businesses grow. “Like Firstrust, PIDC believes in supporting business growth in the communities we serve,” said Patty. “Together, we help business owners achieve their goals by giving them financing solutions that make sense for their business needs.”

Thanks to the help from both PIDC and Firstrust Bank, the owners of Adventure Alley Children’s Learning Center were able to gain ownership of the space they had already invested tenant improvements and added a valuable asset to their balance sheet. Adventure Alley Children’s Learning Center, is one of two neighborhood businesses that were part of the pilot of PIDC’s Commercial Mortgage Loan product last year.

“PIDC looks out for the little people in business and gives them an opportunity to compete with the big boys.” -Matt Ragan

Matt Ragan, who co-owns the daycare with wife, Heather Ragan, said that other banks turned them down in the past; however, PIDC and Firstrust Bank came to their rescue. “What PIDC and Firstrust Bank have done for Adventure Alley Children’s Learning Center has allowed us to consolidate the loan into our mortgage and save almost $2,000 a month,” said Matt. “PIDC looks out for the little people in business and gives them an opportunity to compete with the big boys. We have been in business for 11 years now, and finally we can look to expand with the money we are saving.”

With the savings from their purchase, the daycare has been able to expand in various ways, including staff additions, program improvements, and staff development. This will enable them to add 10 more children, which puts them at full capacity. “Adding a certified teacher and an aide, going forward, will give us what we need to gain another STAR in the Keystone STARS program,” said Matt. Keystone STARS (Standards, Training/Professional Development, Assistance, Resources, and Supports) is a quality rating system of the Pennsylvania Department of Education that promotes quality improvement in early learning, development programs, and school-age child care. Adventure Alley Children’s Learning Center is located in a densely populated neighborhood with many young families, bringing much needed early childhood education to this thriving section of the city. The daycare is currently a STAR 2 program and is getting closer to reaching the highest level — STAR 4. “With each STAR come incentives and bonuses for our staff in their continuing education and for our center as well,” Matt explained.

This entire transaction stemmed from Matt’s meeting at a networking event with PIDC’s Vice President of Client Engagement, Marla S. Hamilton, who then introduced the business to Patty at Firstrust Bank. “Meeting Marla Hamilton was a godsend for us in achieving our goals,” said Matt. “I can honestly say that meeting Marla, and being introduced to PIDC, has changed our lives for the better and, in turn, has made us a staple in our community since buying the building we leased for 10 years.”

Become a Referral Partner with PIDC
We have been thrilled to work with Firstrust Bank to help a small business continue their growth in Philadelphia by accessing needed financing. PIDC values our relationships with professional bankers, accountants, attorneys, and brokers who know their client’s business the best and turn to PIDC as a valuable resource. PIDC can offer tools and services that help our partners stay competitive in an aggressive market and be a trusted advisor for their clients. We have a variety of flexible financing products to fill funding gaps. We can also be a soft landing place to refer businesses that you are unable to service. If you have clients we might be able to help, we’d love to discuss.

Refer a client today!