Small business lending and business coaching are part of CommunityWorks DNA.
We often refer to the “entrepreneur ecosystem” that we are a part of throughout South Carolina.
The ecosystem is made up not only of entrepreneurs, but also the supportive services and capital that help them find success.
Of course, CommunityWorks partners and investors are part of the greater ecosystem, allowing organizations like to support small businesses with tailored, hands-on support.
When Tamieka Alston-Gibson became a nurse practitioner, she knew she wanted to use health care to serve the people who needed it most.
She was working with a company doing house calls, helping people in vulnerable situations.
Unfortunately, there were times when clients weren’t able to pay, and therefore couldn’t receive the care they needed.
She made it her mission to start a business that would give people the care they need regardless of what they could pay.
After a season of being unemployed due to appendicitis, she began putting one foot in front of the other.
She contacted a colleague who was a physician, and together they opened Visions Medical Healthcare in October of 2018.
Visions started as a house call service, but they soon hoped to add a clinic portion due to demand. Around the same time, Tamieka was the 1st place winner of the 2019 Start:Me entrepreneurial business accelerator program small business loan.
A program that helps entrepreneurs build successful businesses, Start:Me is a partner of CommunityWorks. CommunityWorks provides the loans that the winners receive.
With the loan in hand, Tameika worked with CommunityWorks to increase her credit score, and soon after opened the clinic portion of Visions Medical Care.
Located on Hall Street in Spartanburg, Visions is just a couple blocks away from the bustling downtown.
Not long after opening, COVID19 hit.
Thankfully, Tameika was able to receive a ‘Bringing Back the Burg’ loan. ‘Bringing Back the Burg’ was a small business COVID relief program in partnership with the Spartanburg Chamber and CommunityWorks.
Visions Medical Healthcare now proudly employs four employees and continues to serve the Spartanburg community.
Tameika continues to work with CommunityWorks business and financial coaches to grow her financial and business acumen.
When asked for a comment, Tamieka quoted Theodore Roosevelt, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” Quality care is what Visions Medical Healthcare provides to ALL people, whether insured or uninsured.
The Mary Black Foundation supports the efforts of CommunityWorks in Spartanburg County. Most recently, the Foundation provided a $40,000 grant to fund the homebuyer assistance program that includes financial education, coaching, and down payment assistance to families seeking homeownership in Spartanburg County and a $50,000 grant to support small business loans through the Bringing Back the ‘Burg Small Business Fund.