Starting a New Business: Cathy’s Story
Cathy Heying founded the nonprofit The Lift Garage as an affordable auto repair service for Minnesotans of limited means, believing she could make a difference with degrees in social work, pastoral ministry and auto technology.
While working for a church in south Minneapolis, she noticed how many people asked for help paying for car repairs. Usually, they couldn’t get to work without a car, and if they couldn’t get to work, it was a slippery slope toward job loss and homelessness.
So she decided to do something about it.
When it was time to launch The Lift Garage in 2013, Cathy chose Affinity Plus for her business banking.
“We wanted to work with a credit union rather than a traditional bank,” Cathy said. “Affinity Plus has been great from the start, helping us get our account set up and making us feel supported. From the beginning they said, ‘We want to help you achieve your dreams.’ Which is really wonderful because when you start a business, you feel like you’re handing over your baby.”
Serving Minnesotans who are at 150% of the federal poverty guideline or below, the Lift Garage is able to charge only $15 an hour for labor and sells parts at cost.
The nonprofit’s goal is to lift people up in their lives so they can be more self-sufficient. “We hope our service can be a step forward so they have a platform to build from,” Cathy said.