UMAC Briarcliff – It’s not about the Belt



I am extremely grateful for all that Community Capital has done for me and my business. Not only did they provide a working capital loan, they also provided guidance and educational support that has exceeded my expectations. 

Chris Berlow – Owner

Support Provided: Small Business Loan, Technical Assistance Scholarship

Impact: 5 Full Time and 10 Part Time employees, Youth programming

Business Background

Respect. Discipline. Confidence.  These are the words etched throughout  UMAC, a martial arts center located in Briarcliff, NY. Founder Chris Berlow is a 30 year Taekwondo “Master” who has committed his life to teaching martial arts philosophies. In 1989, he established his own school, training people of all ages with an emphasis on children’s martial arts development. To meet growing demand, in 2006, Chris built a state of the art center that today offers comprehensive after school, family and kickboxing programs to over 330 active students.  Speaking about the school’s core values, Berlow remarks, “UMAC is not just about earning a black belt. It’s about teaching people of all ages life skills to help them conquer the fear and feelings of self-doubt we often experience when confronted with challenges.”

How we are helping

Last year Master Berlow had to confront his own business challenges — cash flow problems during the summer months. Through a relationship at PCS Bank, he connected with Julieta McPherson, VP of Lending at Community Capital.  She notes “when I met Chris it was clear to me that he had built a strong business routed in his passion to spread martial arts values in his community. In addition to accessing capital, he wanted to learn how to sustain and grow UMAC.”  Community Capital extended a working capital loan and scholarship for business coaching that has already helped Berlow improve summer programming and identified ways to strengthen all elements of the business plan.  Today, enrollment is up, a revamped summer program is underway and a new digital marketing campaig is being developed.

Company Info

528 North State Road

Briarcliff Manor, NY