After leaving the military, Clark opened a Deli Delicious franchise as his first big step toward his ultimate goal of opening and running his own restaurant. The role of entrepreneur was a natural fit with his military training, which helped him learn how to build and manage effective teams. Strongly motivated by his young son and daughter, Clark hopes to “pass on these businesses so [his children] don’t have to work as hard as we did”.
When you get out of the military, especially experiencing war, those are the kinds of things that never leave you. Whatever happened there will always be with you the rest of your life.
— Russell Clark, co-owner of Deli Delicious
However, as most small business owners experience, Clark says “one of the biggest roadblocks I’ve had to face is finance”. To help support the restaurant, Clark sought a unique financing opportunity: an Access Plus Capital loan, taken out in partnership with Beneficial State Bank. Access Plus Capital is an impact-driven small business loan fund with a mission is to grow businesses and jobs in underserved communities. Since its inception in 2009, Access Plus Capital loans and technical assistance have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs realize their dreams. Given the ecosystem of aligned mission-based lenders Beneficial State Bank has helped create over the years, Clark was able to get an Access Plus Capital loan, hands-on support and the trust of a community-driven banking partner.
“Knowing that they’re socially responsible, that they help the community, you don’t hear of that often,” Clark says “I’m proud to be a part of it.”