NASHUA — The founder of CruCon Cruise Outlet has launched a new company in the Gate City aiming to help small businesses succeed.
Sandy Cleary, who was recently named Business Leader of the Year by New Hampshire Magazine, is taking on her newest venture with the start of an investment company, SLC Group Holdings.
SLC Group Holdings, housed at 15 N. Southwood Dr., will invest in entrepreneurs and small businesses that need funds to grow and bring their products to the market.
“SLC Group Holdings has its own subsidiaries, which it manages, and we are currently actively reviewing a couple of small business investment opportunities,” said Cleary. “I have a team of several trusted advisors who work for me at SLC Group Holdings, almost all of whom have been with me for many years at CruCon or working with me in an outside capacity.”
This team, according to Cleary, will be vetting investment opportunities and presenting some of them to her for consideration.
“Part of the process, of course, will be meeting the entrepreneur and listening to their story to determine both their passion and commitment level,” she said.
The number of businesses that SLC Group Holdings will be assisting with in the first few years will depend on the scale of the investments and the projected return on investment, Cleary said.
“I can envision potential partnerships with hundreds of businesses over the years,” she said. “I never plan for failure, so I’m crossing my fingers and hoping great opportunities will present themselves. We already have many promising ones we are looking at.”
Cleary is well known in the Moultonborough area, where she runs CruCon Cruise Outlet, an online cruise travel agency with more than $135 million in annual cruise volume that expects to hire about 100 new employees within the next year, according to a release.
With the strong success of that business, Cleary told the New Hampshire Union Leader that it is now her turn to give back and help ensure that the Granite State attracts and retains thriving businesses and residents.
“When I first started CruCon Cruise Outlet, it was difficult for me to obtain financing to grow. There was also a lack of resources — not just financial lending, but also business leaders who were willing to share lessons learned,” she said, stressing the importance of paying it forward.
Cleary described businesses as the pillars of their communities, adding that by helping businesses become profitable, it will not only make their work worthwhile, but it will secure future legacies.
“It is my hope and intent that SLC Group can partner with a variety of businesses, and help those businesses achieve the next level of growth while strengthening the communities around them,” she added.