When it comes to taking care of our pets, we only want the best for them in those times when we cannot be with them. One of the leaders in shaping the doggy daycare industry is The Barker Lounge, a family of locations that specialize in making the most out of your dog’s day through a very unique approach – group play. Throughout the day, the dogs are put into groups of similar breed, size, and temperament to play together.

It’s more than just staying in a kennel and short walks – it’s about socialization, with the staff fully trained to monitor and interact with the dogs during their stay. In addition to daycare services, The Barker Lounge also provides boarding, grooming, and training. With franchises in Florida, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina, this business is in growth mode - providing the best care possible for the fur-babies of their clients.

One franchise owner is Caitlin McLean, who recently closed on her second location in the Charlotte area. Caitlin originally began her career assisting other businesses owners and entrepreneurs as an investment banker. After spending time in this field, she realized her own dream to run a business. The opportunity came up for Caitlin to purchase The Barker Lounge franchise when the previous owner decided to sell. As a long-time customer of the business, having enrolled her own dog there, she saw this as the perfect match of business ownership and passion.

Caitlin took over the first Charlotte location last year and almost immediately saw the need to expand. With bookings well over a month in advance and a huge demand for the services, she began looking into spots for a second location. She began talking with our SBA Business Development Officer after initial plans for an SBA loan at a different bank fell through. With the BDO's thorough understanding of SBA lending, Caitlin was able to close on the SBA 7(a) Business Expansion deal in a timely manner and get construction underway for her new location.

Caitlin had the following to say about working with our BDO:

From the time I was initially connected with him, I knew he was a partner I could count on. He knew it was a good deal from day 1. He has a complete understanding of my business, and as such, the process was so much cleaner and faster than my previous experience with an SBA loan with another bank. He spearheaded the entire project – he knew I was in a rush, and he worked hard to make sure that all of the timelines were met. The benefits of working with FNB Small Business Finance are numerous; it’s a regional team, with more attention on the deal from fewer people with less hoops to jump through. It was the best experience I’ve had as a business owner when it comes to SBA financing. I would absolutely recommend the team at FNB Small Business Finance, and I will be using them in the future for all of my banking needs.

The Barker Lounge is set to open their second Charlotte location in late Fall 2018. We are excited to watch the success of this growing business and are proud to be a part of their story!