Washington, D.C., June 24, 2010 -- Doug Springer, owner of Ellsworth, Maine-based small business Springers Gymnastics Center, today received a $20,000 gift from the National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) in recognition of his excellent small-business practices and contribution to local youth, health and community development.
After teaching gymnastics for 20 years, Springer opened Springer’s Gymnastics Center in 2005. Springers Gymnastics specializes in the instruction of recreational gymnastics for children and young adults in a safe, professional and progressive learning environment. As a member of the NASE, Springer applied for and received a $4,100 Business Development Grant in June 2009 – part of $450,000 in grants given by the NASE since 2006 in response to members’ needs to access capital.
According to an NASE Member survey, 77% of America’s micro-business owners do not believe there are enough funding resources available. A majority of respondents reported having to use personal savings to start their businesses and identified a need for funding from associations and nonprofit organizations that provided grants and loans for small businesses.
Springer used the original grant funds to purchase additional equipment for male gymnasts, with the goal of increasing enrollment in that demographic. After receiving the grant, Springers Gymnastics saw the largest September enrollment in its five-year history, and increased its enrollment of male gymnasts by 10 percent. The tremendous impact Springer made with his grant prompted the NASE to select him out of 19 other grant recipients for a further financial award of $20,000.
"I cannot tell you how honored and humbled I am that you folks thought Springers Gymnastics worthy of recognition," Springer said. "At first, I thought it was just money, but the help, and more importantly, the new focus on my business and new motivation to make it even better is a gift you have given us that we could never repay.”
“Doug is sharing his love of gymnastics with his students, and in the process teaching them important life lessons about sportsmanship and health,” said NASE Executive Director of Communications Maureen Petron. “We’re thrilled to recognize his achievement, an invest in his future growth.”
Petron presented Springer with a $20,000 check at a ceremony in his gymnastics studio. Also in attendance to celebrate his achievement were Springer's family, staff and students. High resolution photographs of the ceremony are available. E-mail koberlander@NASEadmin.org.
About the NASE
The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is
the nation's leading resource for the self-employed and
micro-businesses, bringing a broad range of benefits to help
entrepreneurs succeed and to drive the continued growth of this vital
segment of the American economy. The NASE is a 501(c) (6) nonprofit
organization and provides big-business advantages to hundreds of
thousands of micro-businesses across the United States. For more
information, visit the association's Web site at www.nase.org.