Client: Clarence Jackson Skills Academy
Client Location: Marlton, NJ
CDFI: New Jersey Community Capital
CDFI Service Area: NJ
Established in 2012, Clarence Jackson Skills Academy (CJ Skills) provides private basketball training sessions, mentorship, and summer camp programs to young athletes ages 6-17 in Burlington County, NJ. Until the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, classes were filled with happy, basketball-loving kids who were eager to learn. CJ Skills was forced to quickly adapt to live Zoom classes where kids could practice from the safety of their own homes and learn basketball skills virtually. The business also reduced its summer camp to 50 players, implemented a non-contact camp, and began working to create online basketball-related courses.
Nevertheless, despite taking precautions, Covid-19 continued to hamper business revenues during peak season. Both private training sessions and summer camp revenues experienced a significant reduction in revenue and the business struggled to keep up with monthly operating expenses. As a sole proprietorship, owner Clarence Jackson sought support from New Jersey Community Capital (NJCC). NJCC provided CJ Skills with a $15,000 loan to refinance existing high-interest rate loans, thereby improving cash flow and allowing the business to cover additional working capital expenses.
“I love impacting kids in my local community, but what if there’s a way I can help and inspire even more kids in other countries and states?…We plan to use our loan to increase our marketing, further than just the local community, in order to provide children from all over the world with the opportunity to improve their basketball skills for an affordable monthly price,” Clarence shared.