Operating a successful restaurant in a rural tourist town presents unique challenges. In places like Gardiner, it is almost a necessity to provide employee housing. “We were very limited in hiring because we didn’t have any housing for employees,” said Neli. To tackle this challenge, the Nikolovs turned to Prospera for funding assistance to provide lodging for guests and employees. With this funding, the Nikolovs were able to add six lodging units to an already existing house. “It wouldn’t be possible without Prospera. They were able to help us buy the building where the employee housing is and finish the expansion of the lodging units,” said Neli.
The Nikolovs began working with Prospera in 2016, and Neli participates in as many Prospera trainings and resources as possible such as the Power Up workshop, PPP trainings, and courses on QuickBooks, bookkeeping, taxes, Google, and marketing. “I started with knowing nothing about running a business but washing dishes and greeting customers and now I can say I have a pretty good knowledge of how to run a small business,” said Neli.
Neli’s advice to anyone looking to start a business is to “use all the resources available. We are very fortunate to live in a growing valley with a lot of business opportunities and available resources both financial and educational. So, use them! If you are willing to grow, succeed, learn, and invest a little bit of time every day, things will happen.”