Direct Mobile Transit Inc., the newest start-up company at the Emerging Enterprise Center’s business incubator, held their Ribbon Cutting, in front of the four new Ford Transit Vans that were funded in part by the SBA backed Loan received from M&T Bank!
Participating in the Ribbon Cutting were John Fleming, District Director Small Business Administration, Yvette O’Donnell and Pat Ponzo from M&T Bank, Frank DeSantis, Program Director Emerging Enterprise Center, Mark Kleinschmidt President New Castle County Chamber of Commerce, along with Direct Mobile Transit drivers, NCC Chamber Ambassadors, John Banks and Ellyn Herbert from the SBA, and other friends and family.
Started by brothers, Michael and Charles Bantum, Direct Mobile Transit Inc. looks to capitalize on the aging baby-boomer population by providing transportation service that supports the mobility, well-being and health of seniors and mobility challenged residents of New Castle County, Delaware.
John Fleming, district director, SBA, said: “The Bantum brothers worked long and hard to bring their business plans to life. Small business is not for the faint of heart. But these entrepreneurs have already proven their mettle. They crafted a strong business plan and identified strong partners – including the Emerging Enterprise Center and M & T Bank’s SBA Lenders – to help make their dream of business ownership a reality. At SBA, we are honored to support Direct Mobile Transit’s start-up, and look forward to seeing the Bantums – as well as the community that Direct Mobile was created to serve – reap the rewards of their work in the years to come.”
After spending the time researching their market, developing their business plan, establishing an understanding of the licensing, regulations, and partnerships necessary to operate in this space, and in building up their own capital to start the business, they incorporated in early 2016.
Because of the thoroughness of their preparation, they were able to secure an SBA Loan, through M&T Bank, to purchase the four wheelchair accessible vans. “Understanding the needs of small business customers and helping them succeed has always been an important part of our mission.”, says Yvette ODonnell, vice president, Business & Professional Banking, M&T Bank, “We are pleased to be able to assist Direct Mobile Transit, with the backing of the SBA, as they launch an exciting new business.”
According to Mike Bantum, the idea for Direct Mobile Transit came from a personal situation, of having to deal with an aging relative, who although very active, was no longer able to drive themselves, and wanted the flexibility to make appointments and continue daily activities without having to depend on relatives’ availability or traditional van-pool services.
Frank DeSantis from the Emerging Enterprise Center said he is very happy to have DMT join the EEC. “Mike and Chuck Bantum are great examples of the type of entrepreneur we need to see in Delaware, as we seek to ‘grow-our-own’ companies. They saw a need, developed a plan to fulfill that need, and created a thorough Business Plan that demonstrated a good grasp of what they would need to do to achieve their vision.”
Direct Mobile Transit is currently working on hiring and training their drivers, and establishing contracts with some key partners. They expect to be up and running in June, providing transportation for facilities, non-emergency medical transportation and personal car service, that puts their customers in control of their mobility, a release stated.