Michelle Landgren is a veteran of the martial arts world – having spent 38 years instructing entire families throughout the greater Phoenix area through 12 locations. Mrs. Landgren started her business after being the victim of an attack and remembers that the famous movie “The Karate Kid” gave her the big boost needed to the business that was just starting.
As in most businesses there have been ups and downs, during the pandemic she experienced one of the most difficult moments for her company. During this time the business experienced a 70% reduction in her income while her expenses remained the same, mainly rent and salaries.
“The pandemic was terrible, I almost lost everything,” Landgren said, adding that thanks to the aid program she received through Prestamos CDFI, she managed to survive. It also allowed her business to continue being the largest female operator of a martial arts business in the United States.
At Lee’s ATA Martial Arts they train children from the age of three all the way up to their grandparents. They also hold tournaments and always work in a safe and familiar environment. Their students are 50% women and 50% men, a very important change compared to their beginnings in martial arts, since she remembers that in her first class there were only 3 women and 50 men.
Landgren is a businesswoman who is very grateful to Prestamos CDFI for the support she received through the PPP program which allowed her to keep her employees and her 8 locations, to continue serving her clients, who are 75% Hispanic.