FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 2, 2017
For more information, contact:
Aimee Courtaway, JCEDC
Phone: (660) 747-0244

Email: courtaway@growjocomo.com   

CELEBRATING SMALL BUSINESS WEEK APRIL 30 – MAY 6, 2017
National Small Business Week, April 30-May 6, 2017, recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners. 
—————————————————————————————————————————————–
LOCAL CRAFTSMAN EXPANDS BUSINESS WITH HELP FROM MICROLOAN PROGRAM
 

Nathan Epp, Co-owner of Three Trees Workshop, utilizes his expanded workshop to create custom handmade items.

WARRENSBURG, Missouri—A year and a half after the launch of the small family woodworking business, demand for Three Trees Workshop’s fine wooden games, toys, and household items had outstripped its capacity. Three Trees founders and co-owners, Nathan and Cynthia Epp, recently constructed a new workshop with help from the Johnson County Economic Development’s (JCEDC) microloan program. The new shop has allowed Three Trees to add equipment and soon personnel to meet the growing demand for its products. The Epps appreciate the support and guidance that JCEDC has continued to offer as their business grows.

The JCEDC Microloan program offers loans from $4,000 to $10,000 and allows small business owners to finance start up or established businesses, including both home-based and store-front.  As borrowers repay their loans, these “revolving funds” are used to make more loans to other businesses to create more jobs and investment opportunities. To date, JCEDC has loaned over $109,000 to Johnson County business owners.

“JCEDC is proud to be able to assist Three Trees Workshop with their small business expansion and is dedicated to helping small businesses grow and thrive. With the microloan program, a local business who borrows today can help another local business borrow tomorrow.  Three Trees is a perfect example of a business giving back to their community. We are excited to see what the future holds for them,” said JCEDC Executive Director Tracy Brantner.

The increased capacity will also allow Three Trees to expand its product line to include more games and more variations on those they currently offer. This is good news for Three Trees fans throughout the country and around the world. “It’s fun to think about the things we make here in Warrensburg ending up all over the world,” Nathan says. “When we started out, we never dreamed we’d be sending chess sets or Chinese checkers to France or Singapore or Australia, but here we are!”

Although a large part of its business is conducted online, it’s important to Three Trees to be a part of the Warrensburg community. Three Trees has a weekly booth at the Warrensburg Farmers’ Market, participates in local festivals, and stocks products in area stores, which currently include Treasured Blessings, The Little Gift Shop on the historic courthouse square, and the Liberty Hill Farm Store. They use wood from locally harvested trees and support local nonprofit organizations.

Even in online interactions, Three Trees seeks to create a personal connection with customers. “We’re amazed at what people share as we’re communicating about their orders,” Cynthia says. “When they realize we’re real people who are interested in connecting with them, they share some really neat stories with us. That makes our work even more fun and rewarding.”

More information and Three Trees’ handmade wooden games, toys and household items can be found at www.threetreesworkshop.com.

More information on the JCEDC Microloan Program can be found at www.growjocomo.com or by calling 660.747.0244.

ABOUT THREE TREES WORKSHOP
Three Trees Workshop was launched in 2015 as the enactment of a long-time dream. Nathan Epp has been making things out of wood since he was a kid and has always found satisfaction in bringing out the beauty in wood. In addition to being beautiful and functional, Three Trees products are designed to encourage people to connect and interact creatively with each other and with the natural world. Three Trees is committed to using safe, non-toxic finishes and sustainable practices, planting five trees for every product they sell through a partnership with Trees for the Future.