SYRACUSE, N.Y. - Unimar, Inc., a veteran-owned company based in North Syracuse, and M&T Bank will be recognized for their achievements at the 5th Annual Business Conference for the Military Community, Operation: Start Up & Grow. The conference is Tuesday, March 13, from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Gordon Student Center of the Onondaga Community College.
This year’s award winners include:
- Unimar, Inc. – Veteran-Owned Business Achievement Award
22 years ago, U.S. Air Force veteran Michael A. Marley started Unimar, Inc. in Clay, NY. Unimar has since grown into a multi-million dollar lighting supplier to customers worldwide. Unimar builds, installs and services obstruction and tower lighting systems that meet Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Federal Communication Commission (FCC) requirements to warn airplane pilots of antenna towers, wind turbines and other structures that present a hazard to air traffic.
Unimar was selected for its staying power, innovative products, and growth in sales and employees. In 1999, Unimar was the first in its industry to introduce state-of-the-art LED lighting for transmission towers, proving maintenance and energy cost savings. Today, the company has 13 employees and sales have increased 115% over the past three years. With a SBA 504 loan from the Greater Syracuse Business Development Corporation in 2011, Unimar purchased a 21,000-square-foot building in North Syracuse. The new location was a dramatic increase in space from their previous 4,000-square-foot site and has enabled the company to prepare for continued expansion in both product lines and staff.
- M&T Bank – Patriot Lender of the Year Award
For the fifth straight year, M&T Bank is the most active SBA Syracuse District lender to the veteran community, making 11 loans worth over $550,000 for fiscal year 2011. Since October 2006, M&T Bank has lent more than $6.25 million to the extended members of the military community including veterans, active duty members in the Transition Assistance Program, Reservists, National Guard members and current spouses through the SBA 7(a) loan program and the SBA Patriot Express loan program.
The free conference features speakers, workshops, networking, and exhibitors, and is open to individuals with prior or current U.S. military service, including veterans, active duty, reservists and National Guard members. Business financing, marketing and government contracting workshops will be offered at no cost. Veterans will have the opportunity to meet with exhibitors from over 30 different agencies and organizations that provide veteran business programs and services.
The SBA and the Small Business Development Center at Onondaga Community College are hosting the event, with support from the Department of Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises at Syracuse University, Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities, M&T Bank, the New York Business Development Corporation, NY SBDC Veteran Business Outreach Center, Onondaga Community College, the Tech Garden and the WISE Women’s Business Center.
For more information and to register, please visit www.sba.gov/operationstartup or call SBA at 315-471-9393 ext. 233. Registration for the free conference ends March 8.
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