WAITE PARK (WJON News) - Bermuda Bronze is not only the newest tanning salon in the area, but it’s also the latest business helped by the Southwest Initiative Foundation’s Microenterprise Loan Program.

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Natasha Sankey owns Bermuda Bronze, and the Morph Salon next door.

She says starting a small business in Waite Park requires you to think outside the box.

One thing that we did that set us apart was our space was big enough that we could hold craft shows. We invited other local community vendors and hosted their art and crafts and had them invite their friends to come and check us out.

Natasha Sankey shows off the tanning rooms at Bermuda Bronze. Photo: Jeff McMahon, WJON
Natasha Sankey shows off the tanning rooms at Bermuda Bronze. Photo: Jeff McMahon, WJON
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While Sankey was prepared for the challenges of starting another business, she says finding staff is a bigger problem for small businesses and startups.

When it comes to staffing being independent, we definitely have a harder time finding people that are serious about it. Everyone wants to be their own boss, and everyone wants to make more money, but when it comes to actually showing up, I feel like that's the hardest part. You can talk the talk and you can walk the walk. But if you can't show up for yourself, there's no way that it's going to work out.

Sankey applied for loan funds from the foundation to purchase equipment and inventory and to use them for working capital. She was familiar with SWIF’s loan programs as she also accessed funds and support when she opened Morph Salon.

Loan programs have been a key function of SWIF since its inception. In 2001, microlending was added to existing programs as a tool to support small businesses and people looking for self-employment opportunities.

In addition to traditional and spray tanning, Bermuda Bronze offers Red Light Therapy, a treatment that can be used for pain management and seasonal depression.

It just has a lot of healing properties (and) a lot more positive residual outcomes. It helps people really, truly focus on their internal health, which is something that I feel like as a society, we focus on the outside more than we focus on the inside, when really, you don't know what's wrong with you until it's literally coming out of your skin. So the red light therapy definitely helps with that.

Natasha Sankey demonstrates the Red Light Therapy bed at Bermuda Bronze. Photo: Jeff McMahon, WJON
Natasha Sankey demonstrates the Red Light Therapy bed at Bermuda Bronze. Photo: Jeff McMahon, WJON
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Bermuda Bronze is located at 225 1st street south in Waite Park.

For more information on the Southwest Initiative Foundation, find the details here.

 

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