Mountain America Credit Union Helps Eagle Tennis Club Ace an SBA Loan

Idaho tennis club’s instructors and staff get the paychecks they need to care for their families.

The Eagle Tennis Club in Eagle, Idaho, recently received an SBA Paycheck Protection Program loan from Mountain America Credit Union, which will keep all staff on the payroll.

5/26/2020

When Kara Hoge was battling breast cancer in 2008, she kept a bucket list. At the top of that list was learning how to play tennis.

Cancer was no match for her — Hoge 40, cancer love — game over. She beat the illness and got busy learning the sport.

Several years later, she turned that passion into a career by opening the Eagle Tennis Club in Eagle, Idaho. It was tough to get the capital she needed to start the business. She had a vision, where people could come together to play tennis year-round on indoor courts.

She reached out to a credit union, hopeful she’d get the help she needed to build the facility.

“Mountain America was the only financial institution who took me and my business proposal seriously and got the ball rolling. It took me eight years to turn my dream into a reality. Eagle Tennis Club is more than a tennis club, that is why it is called ETC (et cetera). It’s a place for families and friends to come together, stay and play.”
– Kara Hoge, Owner of Eagle Tennis Club

Over the years, ETC grew in staff, services, and prestige. In 2018, it earned a U.S. Tennis Association’s Outstanding Facility Award. The dedicated staff has helped make it what it is today – an 81,000 square-foot, climate-controlled indoor club with an elevated mezzanine that looks over pristine courts.

When COVID-19 made its way to Idaho, Hoge’s business, like thousands of others, had to close. Once again, she turned to Mountain America — this time for an SBA Paycheck Protection Program loan. The credit union, headquartered in Utah, serves Idaho residents, with branches in the Boise, Nampa, and Garden Valley areas.

The club offers indoor tennis courts, pickleball, workout classes, and more. It’s a popular spot for tournaments and community socializing.

“So many of my employees have families, and unemployment was just not coming through,” Hoge said. “For two weeks, they had no pay, and as soon as I got my PPP loan, I was able to run payroll immediately so they didn’t miss a check. It was so important to me to make sure my staff was taken care of during this. I would have paid them out of pocket if I had to in order to keep them happy and healthy.”

ETC’s staff has seven certified tennis pros and several other front desk staff. Most of them have been with Hoge since she opened the club. Eventually, ETC added pickleball to its services, which has become wildly popular with club members. Hoge hired a gold-medalist pickleball player to teach the popular sport.

The club offers tennis and pickleball lessons for all ages, hosts tournaments, and offers fitness classes, such as barre, dance, pilates, and more.

“Mountain America is dedicated to serving our communities and the small businesses working hard within those communities,” said Mike Turner, SVP Chief Lending Officer at Mountain America Credit Union. “We are proud to help small businesses like Eagle Tennis Club secure a PPP loan to keep their employees on the payroll.”

To date, Mountain America has processed more than 6,000 PPP loans, providing small businesses throughout the west with $325 million in funds.

“I have referred all my employees to Mountain America, and keep referring them for SBA loans, because they want to help make your dreams come true,” Hoge said. “And I wasn’t getting that same treatment elsewhere.” 

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