Minot Center for Pediatric Therapy:
A Successful Dakota Business Lending Borrower
Oct 10, 2019
They say that “everyone deserves a voice,” and for Kylee Geer, this phrase has been the fuel to her passion throughout her entire career thus far.
After working as a speech pathologist in Fargo for over 5 years, Kylee and her husband moved back to Minot to be closer to family. As she began searching for ways to continue her career in her new home, she toyed with the idea of opening her own private practice. One thing led to another, and soon she opened Minot Center for Pediatric Therapy – Minot’s first private speech pathology practice.
“At the time, there weren’t any private practices for speech therapy in town,” Kylee explained. “I really wanted to find a way to bring some more direct services to kids with special needs, so I explored some different options and decided to open my own speech therapy clinic.”
Minot Center for Pediatric Therapy primarily serves kids between ages 1-21 who have a medical diagnosis such as Autism, Down Syndrome, Anxiety, Communication Disorder, or general developmental delay.
Whether children are not communicating at all, avoiding interacting with their peers, or unable to participate in family activities, Minot Center for Pediatric Therapy will work with them to build their skills. “Many of our kids beginning speech therapy don’t have a means of expressing themselves,” shared Kylee. “We find a mode of communication and build those blocks so they can work with others, especially their families.” Knowing that communication disorders affects every aspect of a child’s life, including their families, Minot Center for Pediatric Therapy takes a family-focused approach and works to educate and involve the parents as much as possible with the hopes of giving them the tools they need to help their kids along this journey.
Kylee started her practice all on her own. It wasn’t until after a year of operations that she was able to add another staff member – this time, an occupational therapist. “Occupational therapy and speech pathology go hand-in-hand,” Kylee explained. “We do a collaborative method where we work with the same child and talk about how the occupational therapy can influence goals in speech pathology and vice versa. That way, it’s more of a holistic treatment plan.” Since then, she has added an additional employee each year of operations.
With this rate of growth brought the need for Minot Center for Pediatric Therapy’s space to grow as well. Since Kylee had been renting a space downtown from the beginning, she decided it may be time to purchase a larger building of her own. The only thing that was holding her back was finances.
“As we were growing, we needed a larger space and more updated facility that could accommodate more therapists and have more options for families to come in, but we needed the financial assistance to do so.” It was at this time that Kylee was introduced to the SBA 504 loan program – a loan program that offers longer loan terms with a lower down payment and fixed, below-market interest rates, making expansions like this more affordable – through Dakota Business Lending. Together with United Community Bank, Dakota Business Lending was able to offer Kylee a 504 loan and make this move possible.
“I sought out the  business loan and that really helped us to be able to build out a facility that could better accommodate the children that needed the services. Having that loan really made it possible to get us to where we are today, and I couldn’t have asked for a better team to work with and help guide me through that process.”
Now with their larger facility, Minot Center for Pediatric Therapy can better serve the kids that come in and provide a more positive and welcoming atmosphere for them and their families. In addition, they have been able to make better accommodations for their kids such as wheel chair accessibility in the entrance and throughout the center. “People don’t feel like they’re going into a medical facility anymore,” shared Kylee. “It is not a center really directed towards kids and they are more comfortable coming here because of the positive atmosphere.” The center’s location is also more visible and easier for families to find.
Minot Center for Pediatric Therapy prides itself in not only being a pediatric therapy center, but also being a resource and providing support to kids and their families as well. The center has started its own Walk for Autism in Minot to bring more awareness to the area and help build a community among the families. In addition, they have also started Bloom – a support group for mothers of children with disabilities – that meets once a year. Overall, Minot Center for Pediatric Therapy tries to get involved with anything that has to do with helping children throughout the community.
Not only does Minot Center for Pediatric Therapy place a strong focus on children and their families, but they place great value on their employees as well. In order to stay competitive and better attract and maintain employees, the center offers simple IRA retirement plans with up to a 3% match.
And it’s all for the benefit of the kids…Kylee’s favorite part of her job is getting to work the fantastic families, kids, and employees that she sees every day. This rewarding aspect of her job is what keeps her passion going every day and what motivates her to continuously better Minot Center for Pediatric Therapy.
“I love working with families. I love working with kids. I love my awesome staff. I love coming to work every day and, when you’re able to help a child learn a new skill, it’s so rewarding to see how that impacts families overall. It’s an honor to be trusted to work with someone else’s child in this way and I’m pretty luck to get to do it every day.”