TruImpact Story: “Through TruFund’s RAP product, I was able to make my dream of commercial real estate ownership a reality”

Brad Hitchens, owner of Salon 623 recently made his dream of owning commercial property in North Baton Rouge, Louisiana a reality.  Brad is a professional barber by trade and has been in this industry since he was 17. After years of experience, he decided to expand his entrepreneurial endeavors to create a space that will provide opportunities for young entrepreneurs in his community to get started. He aims to empower young aspiring barbers and beauticians in his community to start their own businesses without the cost barriers of running a business. With this vision, Brad created Salon 623, a space where he hosts suites for himself and other young entrepreneurs. Brad provides the space and takes care of overhead costs, allowing these young barbers to gain the experience of running their business and mastering their trade, rather than being hindered by bills.

Not only does Brad’s property provide a space for young stylists to develop their skills, but he also plans on leasing other store fronts on the properties to local small businesses, such as an eatery, a school, and an event space. Brad’s goal is to create a welcoming and vibrant space that will help revitalize North Baton Rouge and spur jobs and provide opportunities for residents who live, work and play in this area. Through Salon 623 Brad aims to make North Baton Rouge a safer place to live for people, create more jobs for residents, put young Black and Brown people in a position where they can see, they too can reach their goals.  This project will give people the inspiration that, "Hey man, you can do it too. Hey young lady, you can come and start here.” Through this development he aims to "build and contribute to getting the crime down and give hope to the people in my community.”

Brad used TruFund's Real Estate Acquisition Loan Product (RAP) to make his dream a reality when he purchased the strip mall in the community where he grew up in North Baton Rouge.  This neighborhood is a predominantly African American community in a low to moderate income area of this city that has been historically underfunded and under-invested. Using the RAP Program, TruFund was able to assist Brad in overcoming barriers to owning real estate.  Brad describes his experience with TruFund as smooth and supportive. He credits the exceptional support from his Business Development Officer with the thorough guidance and expertise he provided throughout the process.  TruFund is proud to be able to support Brad and his vision to stimulate economic development and opportunities in his community.