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Loan assists Ali J Boutique in New London, Minn.

NEW LONDON -- Alison Werder recently received loan assistance from the Southwest Initiative Foundation's Microenterprise Loan Program to expand her boutique store at 15 Main St. S., downtown New London.

Ali J Boutique specializes in scarves and accessories, trendy women's and children's clothing and unique baby gifts. The boutique also features an old-fashioned candy shop area. Werder will be doubling the size of her store and the extra space will provide room for children's parties or women's gatherings.

Ali J Boutique started four years ago as a home party and web-based scarf/boutique business. The New London location opened in July 2011 and has had strong growth in sales, and inventory has expanded to meet customer requests. Room will also be provided for a distribution center for Werder's home party and Internet sales business.

Starting May 7, the store is open Mondays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.