NDOF helps immigrant couple seize new opportunity for their trucking business

An entrepreneurial immigrant couple is able to carve out a new opportunity for their trucking business thanks to the North Dakota Opportunity Fund.

Upon earning his CDL/Class-A truck driving license in 2018, Sam Jalalvand went to work as a driver but was quickly taken by the idea of owning his own trucking business.

Together with his wife, Mugi, the Jalalvands wasted little time in turning Sam’s idea into reality. The couple launched their West Fargo-based business, SAM Logistics, in July 2020.

Couple Readjusts Their Business Strategy

Like many small business owners, the excitement of a new business gave way to reality. While the business has many clients throughout North Dakota and Minnesota, the high price of diesel and lower rates on freight posed challenges.

“Last year was a very hard and challenging year,” says Jalalvand. “We were barely covering expenses.”

But the Jalalvands are persistent. The couple sat down last year and ran the numbers. They saw a way to increase the company’s revenue by delivering frozen freight.

“When I worked for my previous employer, I rented a refrigerator trailer so I could start delivering frozen freight because the rate was higher than dry haul,” says Jalalvand who notes that the numbers added up for them.

“The way for us to improve the business was to buy our own reefer trailer so we don’t have to pay 22.5 percent of our gross income to another company,” adds Jalalvand.

With their plan in hand, Sam and Mugi met with their lender, Stacia Sanders at Capital Credit Union who introduced them to Lewis & Clark Development Group.

NDOF Helps Jalalvands Purchase New Refrigerated Trailer

LCD Group Commercial Lending Director Matt Burthold said the Jalalvands are exactly why the NDOF was created.

“Like many new small business owners, Sam and Mugi didn’t have all they needed for a down payment. So the North Dakota Opportunity Fund stepped up by buying a participation in the loan to help Capital Credit Union meet its financing guidelines, which enabled the bank to finance the Jalalvands’ purchase of the trailer,” Burthold shared. 

“We see this a lot. It’s common. That’s why the North Dakota Opportunity Fund was created to help small business owners purchase essential equipment for their business,” says Burthold.

With only 10 percent down, the Jalalvands were able to purchase their reefer trailer, which will now allow SAM Logistics to transport perishable cargo at a specific temperature to ensure freshness for its clients. 

“Reefer loads will generate greater income for our company than dry goods trailers. The need for refrigerated trucking services are constant across the United States. This allows us to increase our profits and expand our clientele,” says Jalalvand, who is grateful to Lewis & Clark Development Group.

“Working with Lewis and Clark Development Group was amazing. They were professional and faster than we expected. We can’t thank them enough for their support and this opportunity,” adds Jalalvand.

“We are also thankful to run our business in North Dakota because the state is very business friendly. People are also helpful and kind too. We appreciate all these opportunities given to us in this great country. America is our home now and we are building the kind of lives we always wanted.”

About the North Dakota Opportunity Fund

Lewis & Clark Development Group oversees the North Dakota Opportunity Fund, an innovative program that leverages private lending to help small businesses and manufacturers attain the financing needed to expand and create jobs.

Businesses located in the NDOF consortium of 38 municipalities are eligible for participation in the program. NDOF financing can be used for: construction, equipment, working capital, real estate, and interim SBA 504 loans.

Since 2012, the NDOF has disbursed $29.9 million in loan proceeds.

Click here for more information about the North Dakota Opportunity Fund or contact LCD Group Commercial Lending Director Matt Burthold at (701) 667-7601 or at matt@lcdgroup.org today. 

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