Redmond Harris was incarcerated in 2012. After serving almost 4 years, he was released in August of 2016. Red came to Justine PETERSEN four months later, in October of 2016, to begin the process of securing a loan to start a business. He participated in the Aspire Entrepreneurship Initiative, designed to assist parents of young children who are re-entering society after incarceration and are interested in starting, formalizing, or growing a small business. Red was in the first Aspire cohort that Justine PETERSEN led, and he developed many of the skills needed to start his business. Over the course of several loans, Red built his business and purchased a building. In 2017, his dream came true and Red’s BBQ had its opening day at its current home.
Red received additional support in 2018 and 2019 with a larger loan through a New Market Tax Credit deal and a contractor loan in order to continue improving his business. In 2020, the business was significantly affected by COVID-19 and there was a drop of sales coupled with increased business debt that yielded low cash flow capacity. Mr. Harris received two loans from Justine PETERSEN that helped the business with IRS payments, working capital, and refinance a short-term contractor loan to recover from the pandemic. Justine PETERSEN also supports his bookkeeping and back office needs.