Help Therapy Tree Grow With a Small Business Grant
The South Avenue business needs 250 votes to qualify to win a small business grant.
Husband and wife Walter and Jennifer Chavez are hoping to have an opportunity to see their business flourish the way they've watched their clients blossom.
The couple opened the South Avenue business, Therapy Tree, LLC, in 2007. Specializing in pediatric occupational and speech therapy for children ranging from birth through 19 years of age, many of whom are on the autism spectrum or have ADHD or developmental delays, the practice provides one-on-one individualized care.
Thanks to what Walter refers to as "the mommy grapevine," the business has grown from a one-room studio on St. Paul's Avenue to a thriving multi-room center.
The partners—Walter is an occupational therapist while Jennifer is a licensed counselor—are hoping to serve even more families in need with the help of a small business grant.
"We now have an opportunity for growth at this stage in our own 'professional development,'" Jennifer explained. "Chase Bank is inviting small businesses to apply for a $250,000 grant called Mission Small Business. We see this as an opportunity to bring change to our practice and grow with our families."
The Chavezes agree this grant would allow for the following:
- Expansion to a new location with state of the art equipment.
- The addition of additional branches of therapy, including but not limited to Physical Therapy and Tutoring
- An after-school wrap-around program for children with speicial needs
"We've had the privilege of serving the community and nurturing children's development and now we'd like to do the same for ourselves so that we can grow together. It benefits everyone," Walter said.
In order to help Therapy Tree qualify, voters can visit www.missionsmallbusiness.com and log in with their Facebook accounts. Therapy Tree needs 250 votes by June 30 in order to qualify. As of Wednesday, June 13, the practice was more than halfway to its goal. After qualifying, Walter explained that the next step is to answer five questions about the business and how the grant would be used. The therapist is confident that Therapy Tree stands a good chance as the practice is the only one of its kind entered in the contest in New Jersey.
The team, which also includes Walter's sister Susan, an occupational therapist, would use the funds to fill what it sees as a void in the community.
"We'd like to offer a one-stop shop after-school program that would feature tutoring, OT, and would be drop-off and pick-up," Walter explained. "Right now there's nothing like that available to families with special needs children. Parents should have the peace of mind of knowing that their children will be engaged in purposeful play and that it won't just be babysitting."
Since 2009, both the practice and individual therapists have been named one of "NJ's Favorite Kids' Docs." Further, Chavez said moms and dads of clients have taken the time to write testimonials in Family magazine regarding the expert care their kids have received.
Walter said what distinguishes Therapy Tree from other therapy settings such as hospitals or other practices is that the care is individualized.
"It's one therapist with one child in one room for one hour," said Walter, who noted that he and Jennifer took special care in making each room, right down to the color selection, as soothing as possible for clients, especially those with sensory integration challenges. "Parents know that we're a family-run business. They like that when they call, they are speaking with a therapist. It’s that extra level of care that has set us apart."