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Kalamazoo loans $35K to mobile youth entertainment business

KALAMAZOO, MI — An event was held in front of Kalamazoo City Hall on Monday, Sept. 16, to recognize the first loan awarded by the Business Development Fund.

A $35,000 loan was extended to Klassy Kidz, a mobile youth entertainment business owned by Kalamazoo resident Duanta Taylor, the city said in a news release. The business provides rentals and onsite entertainment in part by operating customized vehicles that are available for rental at parties and events. With the capital provided by the Business Development Fund (BDF), Klassy Kidz purchased an additional vehicle, allowing the business to book more events and offer a wider variety of activities, the city said.

“For smaller neighborhood-based businesses, getting capital to start or expand is often a challenge,” said Dwayne Powell, Jr., the City of Kalamazoo’s Neighborhood Business Special Projects Coordinator. “By offering this non-traditional lending, the BDF can be a catalyst for these entrepreneurs and eliminate a barrier that prevents people right here in Kalamazoo’s neighborhoods from pursuing their passion.”

“In 2014 I had a vision of giving back to my community,” Taylor said in the city’s prepared statement. “After graduating from Western Michigan University with my bachelor’s in business management, that vision became Klassy Kidz. I started off with my life savings of $11,000 and invested that into the early stages of the business. Since then, Klassy Kidz has become one of the leading children entertainment business in southwest Michigan.”

The company parked two of its vehicles in front of city hall Monday. The mobile spa is outfitted with foot baths under the seats along one side of the bus, and makeup counters along the other side of the bus. A mobile gaming bus is set up for video games on the go. The company offers packages for birthdays and other

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