From Dream to Reality: How Earl Cooper Built a Thriving Local Construction Business
Earl Cooper had a dream to start his own heavy construction and highway traffic company serving the Wilmington, Delaware area. In January 2018, he brought that dream to life by founding Everyone Can Achieve, LLC (ECA). Through determination and hard work, Earl has grown ECA into a thriving business serving state and county transportation departments in Delaware and Pennsylvania.
As ECA took on more contracts, Earl needed working capital to fund equipment, payroll, and other operating expenses while awaiting payment from state agencies. He turned to Grow America, first receiving loans of $25,000 and $100,000, through Grow America’s Delaware Stabilization and SOAR programs. With this support, Earl grew ECA’s sales from $669,000 in 2019 to more than $2.3 million by 2020, due largely to new contracts with state transportation departments.
However, ECA’s rapid growth threatened cash flow, as the new contracts involved significant paperwork and took a longer amount of time to process payments. Earl again turned to Grow America to support his business with the working capital required to stay cash flow positive. Grow America provided a third $200,000 loan through its 7(a) program that enabled ECA to hire five more local workers while retaining 40 existing jobs.
For Earl, his business is about more than profits. It’s about uplifting his community. Along with skills training and home ownership programs for employees, he actively encourages other minority-owned firms to pursue mission-driven financing. With passion and purpose, Earl is building his business while creating jobs and opportunities for others in Wilmington and beyond. His success illustrates how affordable small business lending can empower entrepreneurs to make a difference.