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Community First Fund (Pennsylvania)

A Dream to Share
A Dream to Share

When Edward “Champ” Hall was 13 years old he got a bad hair cut, so he picked up his dad’s clippers and fixed his hair. From this experience, Champ’s career developed. He bettered his skills by cutting his friends’ hair and while he was still in high school his mother suggested that he attend barber school. Champ graduated in 1982 and was one of the youngest people in Pennsylvania to earn his license. Several years thereafter, he became a certified trainer for the Commonwealth.

Over the past 25 years, Champ has had six barber shops located in Lancaster city and Columbia (Lancaster County), PA which he has operated as sole proprietorships. While he did have several of the shops open at same time, in 2002 he decided to downsize so that he could focus on opening a barber school. In 2003 a dream came true for Champ when a loan from Community First Fund allowed him to open the first barber school in Lancaster—one of only six in the state. Champ had received two previous loans from Community First Fund for expanding and improving his one remaining barber shop however opening the school was one of his proudest moments.

Champ, who is the primary operator of both his shop and school, has trained most of the six independent business people who now work for him. Some of his previous students have gone onto to open and operate their own successful businesses. In June 2007, Champ along with Community First Fund President and CEO Dan Betancourt testified before the House Small Business Committee about the importance of the SBA Microloan Program, intermediaries, and especially the technical assistance and training component of the Program which is threatened with elimination by the Bush Administration and the SBA.

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