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Nav Awards Mobile, Solar-Powered Bait & Tackle Business Owner $10,000 Grant


Nav Awards Mobile, Solar-Powered Bait & Tackle Business Owner $10,000 Grant

PR Newswire

SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Nav, a free site and app for small business owners to access their business credit scores and get matched to financing options, announced Chris Jones, the owner and operator of CJ's Bait & Tackle, as the grand prize winner of its second Small Business Grant.

CJ's Bait and Tackle is the Mississippi Gulf Coast's first mobile, solar-powered bait and tackle shop. Located in Pascagoula, Mississippi, patrons can purchase a variety of items including snacks, cold drinks, bait, fishing accessories, and life jackets.  

Stemming from an idea Jones and his father-in-law had, the mobile and solar-powered shop came to fruition in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

"Having the ability to pick up and go when necessary and on relatively short notice is important for our business and family," said Jones. "By going tiny and being mobile, we're able to take our livelihood with us if we ever have to evacuate again. We're also able to be where the people need us and do business in places that wouldn't have been possible with a brick and mortar operation."

While Jones' father-in-law was not alive to see the business open, Jones is using the business as a way to connect and make memories with his own sons.

To be considered for the Nav Small Business Grant, business owners were asked to share a challenge their business is facing. When Jones applied for the Grant earlier this summer, he shared that access to capital was a primary challenge for his business.

"Much like other families in our area, we live paycheck-to-paycheck and have scraped together every extra penny, and even bartered and traded to obtain the resources we needed," shared Jones. "Now that we've opened, we realize we need to add to our existing systems to be completely off the grid and grow. Unfortunately, we do not have the capital to take the next step."

Jones' challenge is a common pain point for small business owners. In the first round of Nav's first Small Business Grant this summer, winner Rachel Irons, owner of Founding Foods, shared a similar challenge with her business.

"Access to capital and financing is one of the most frustrating aspects of running a business," said Levi King, Nav's CEO and co-founder. "Chris' story is one that we've heard often, and I've personally experienced many times. Chris is very deserving of this Grant, as his business is smart, well-conceived and has great potential to succeed. We look forward to seeing Chris use this money to help his dream thrive."

With the Grant, Jones plans to upgrade equipment, add additional solar panels and upgrade inventory.

"This is absolutely life changing for us," remarked Jones after learning he won the Grant. "We can now grow our business into what we envisioned. Thank you so much to everyone at Nav for this opportunity. We have truly been blessed."

Jones will be awarded the $10,000 check by Pascagoula Mayor Dane Maxwell on September 13.

"Pascagoula loves small businesses," said Mayor Maxwell. "We've attracted some now-famous entrepreneurs, and I have no doubt that CJ's Bait & Tackle is another one of those Pascagoula-born companies that will create a big buzz on the Gulf Coast and beyond. What a great concept – a mobile bait and tackle shop! We're a city that loves our waterways and fishing – and I'm proud we could help them launch this business right here, at our beautiful Beach Park, and Nav is providing the capital for them to grow this business."

More information about CJ's Bait & Tackle and Jones' vision for the future of his business is available in Nav's latest blog post.

Two other small businesses were also awarded grants. Caffeine Corps, a veteran-owned caffeine shop in Alabama received $2,000, and Calyan Wax Co., a boutique, mission-driven candle company, was given $1,000.

The third round of Nav's Small Business Grant will launch on October 15, 2018. It will feature a $10,000 grand prize and prizes for runners-up. More information about the Grant is available here:

About Nav
More than 400,000 small business owners use Nav to get more funding, lower their costs and save time so they can create the business of their dreams. It gives free access to business credit scores, cash-flow analysis, and tools to help build business credit. Nav's online marketplace offers more than 100 financing products, including loans and credit cards, and uses a lender-neutral algorithm to help business owners find the best financing options for their needs before they apply. The company has offices in Silicon Valley and Salt Lake City. For more information visit:

Amanda Triest
Nav PR Manager 

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