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San Bernardino, CA – After two years of research and development on a project that would take his company and with it, the animatronics industry, to a new level, Garner Holt, president of Garner Holt Productions (GHP) in San Bernardino, California, was ready for a working capital loan. He approached the City of San Bernardino for financing.

Since 1999, the City of San Bernardino (where NDC has provided technical assistance since 1986) has been a participant in NDC’s Grow America Fund (GAF) through its Grow San Bernardino Fund, and Holt was referred to NDC Field Director Scott Rodde for his loan. 

Rodde met Holt, learned about the company, which supplies animatronics expertise to companies from Disney parks to Chuck E. Cheese restaurants, and ascertained working capital needs.  After a thorough interview, Rodde determined that Holt’s idea, coupled with his prior success and excellent credit, met the criteria for approval by GAF’s loan committee. Rodde introduced Holt to John Palyo, GAF’s chief of credit, and Olivia Rebanal, GAF loan officer.

“I nearly fell out of my chair,” Garner recalls. “I thought GAF would be like the typical bank,” says Holt. “That wasn’t the case.”

Garner Holt Productions has all the elements a fiscally careful lending institution expects to see. “Garner has a healthy, growing, small business,” Palyo says. “He took something fun and made it something profitable.”

GAF has now made two loans to Garner Holt Productions, in as many years.  These loans have helped to spur the creation of 24 jobs, and maintain 82 existing jobs.

“Garner’s animatronics passion began as a teenager, and over the course of thirty years, he has built a state-of-the-art business that is respected by industry leaders like Disney,” says NDC Scott Rodde.  “It will be very interesting to watch it continue to grow.”