Fast-growing child therapy center builds new location with financing from American Momentum Bank


Fast-growing child therapy center builds new location with financing from American Momentum Bank

ODESSA, Fla. (Sept. 21, 2021) —The Kid Counselor Center, the only therapy practice in Pasco County dedicated exclusively to offering child play therapy, relocated from its previously leased space in New Port Richey to a newly constructed, larger building in Odessa in mid-August to keep up with rapid business growth fueled by increasing client demand.

The Kid Counselor Center grew from a single-therapist, part-time practice in 2016 seeing 10 clients a week to a practice with three full-time therapists seeing 75 patients a week by 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic and lack of available commercial real estate space temporarily stalled growth; however, now the practice has a 60-patient waitlist as it awaits the onboarding of two additional full-time registered play therapists to join in the coming weeks. Plans are also in the works to expand the Family Counselor Center wing for adult therapy by hiring three additional therapists.

The Kid Counselor Center’s revenue nearly doubled from 2018 to 2020, and its 2021 annual revenue is projected to triple that of 2018.

American Momentum Bank’s Small Business Administration (SBA) Division financed the recent expansion with a $1 million construction loan. The loan allowed The Kid Counselor Center’s owner, Brenna Hicks, PhD, LMHC, to purchase a parcel of land at 15123 Ogden Loop in Odessa and construct a 4,780-square-foot clinical office space designed specifically for the nuanced needs of her clients and their families, with extra room to grow as the business continues expanding. 

“When we first realized we needed to find a larger space, we looked into buying an existing medical office building but quickly discovered nothing would fit the needs of our care delivery model,” Dr. Hicks said. “We needed larger therapy rooms for the toys, a bigger lobby because parents and siblings often wait here during appointments, hardwood floors, sinks in the therapy rooms, and a conference room for community education – all of which are impossible to find in an existing medical office or therapy building.”

Play therapy is a specialized field of therapy that allows clients access to toys and uses playtime as a way for children to express themselves and work through problems in a developmentally appropriate way, while the therapist observes and offers help and guidance. There are only five registered play therapists in Pasco County, and three of them work at The Kid Counselor Center.

When Dr. Hicks decided she needed to build a specially designed space from the ground up to meet her clients’ needs, her developer referred her to three banks to discuss a construction loan.

“From the moment I met Steven Hoschak at American Momentum Bank, I was sold,” Dr. Hicks said. “He listened so well, and the conversation wasn’t just about numbers and money. I could tell that he genuinely cared about our business, wanted to learn our story and truly wanted to build a relationship with us.”

According to Dr. Hicks, delays, snags and shortages caused by the pandemic and other factors complicated the construction project. But, Hoschak, SBA Business Development Officer II at American Momentum, weathered the issues right alongside her, including addressing problems onsite and attending meetings with the developer.

“I always had a sense with American Momentum that I had a team that was supporting me and advocating for me to make sure the project was done right and well and on time,” Dr. Hicks said. “I feel above and beyond taken care of, and I can’t fathom that I could have gone to any other bank and had a better experience.”

Dr. Hicks has been featured as an expert on play therapy in The New York Times, and on CNN and iVillage. She earned her PhD from the University of South Florida, and currently teaches at the University of Wyoming. She is the author of the book “Device Detox,” which was published in 2020.

“We’re just really excited about the great work that Dr. Hicks does—there aren’t many professionals in Tampa Bay who offer this very valuable type of therapy, and she’s the expert in it,” Hoschak said. “We’re proud to support her, The Kid Counselor Center, and the children and families they help in our community.”

The Kid Counselor Center treats children between the ages of 3 and 14 and offers complimentary parent consultations.

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