Terry Vo, a Kensington man whose bicycle repair business was destroyed by fire on April 27, says his hopes of rebuilding are "getting better all the time," with the receipt of a $10,000 loan from Montgomery County's Economic and Business Development Corp.
The nonprofit business group contracts with the county to give support to small businesses. County Executive Charles W. Gilchrist presented Vo the check last week in the parking lot of the Kensington Shopping Center. Vo has continued to repair bikes there under an umbrella, near his burned-out store.
Vo, who came to the United States from Vietnam in 1975, said, "The residents of Kensington know me and have helped me" by seeking assistance through Kensington Mayor Charles Stuart.
Daniel Minchew, vice president of the business group, said the loan was made to Vo at 2 percent below the prime rate.
"The people know what kind of man he is, how he and his family never quit even after the fire, and after all they have been through," Minchew said.
Vo said he will use the loan to buy tools and equipment to help continue working in the lot, and will soon begin seeking investors to help rebuild his store.