8(a) Certified Business Benefits From Faith-based and Community Initiative Program, Receives 7(a) Loan, Surety Bond
When Jimmie Lee Perryman, Sr. founded Perryman Building and Construction Services, Inc. in 1961, his philosophy was simple: “a quality job performed by quality people always counts.” This straight-forward philosophy was the source from which his company successes would grow from generation to generation. Today, the second generation President and CEO, Angelo R. Perryman continues the successful philosophy started over forty-five years ago.
Perryman Construction is an excellent example of the many businesses that have benefited from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Faith-based and Community Initiative. Perryman utilizes the programs and services offered by The Enterprise Center in West Philadelphia, an organization that deals very closely with the Philadelphia SBA District Office. The district office in center-city Philadelphia serves 40 counties in Eastern Pennsylvania, an area with 8.3 million people and over 600,000 business enterprises.
The Enterprise Center, is one of the many organizations that the District Office works with within the Faith-based and Community Initiative, focuses on providing the knowledge base needed to help people in their communities start or expand their own small businesses—businesses that will bring jobs and hope to economically distressed communities all across our Nation. The SBA is one of 10 federal agencies designated by President George W. Bush to help faith-based and community organizations gain access to federal programs, resources, and services.
Headquartered at the Enterprise Center, Perryman Construction offers a full range of building, procurement, and construction management services on a wide variety of projects to include office renovations, constructing buildings and banking properties, and even performing contracts on US Military bases. Their clients include Wachovia Bank, U.S. Airways and the Naval Facilities Engineering Command.
In 1999, Angelo received a 7(a) loan guaranteed by the SBA through the United Bank of Philadelphia. The funds were used to buy new equipment and expand the business, which now employs 29. The 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program is the SBA’s primary financial assistance instrument that provides loan guaranties on business loans. The 7(a) program helps qualifying entrepreneurs secure financing on reasonable terms from private-sector lenders.
In 2002, Perryman Construction was certified by the SBA as an 8(a) firm. The 8(a) Business Development Program is an essential instrument for helping minority owned firms expand their businesses by receiving federal contracts.
The Alabama native was recognized in 2003 and 2004 by the Entrepreneurs' Forum of Greater Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Business Journal and the Wharton Small Business Development Center as one of the "Top 10 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies" in the Philadelphia region. The Wharton SBDC is an SBA resource partner. Partially funded by the SBA, the Wharton SBDC is part of a network of university-based centers that provide free management, consulting and technical assistance to small business owners in a variety of areas.
One of Angelo’s significant challenges has been getting surety bonds. Surety Bonds are insurance policies that guarantee that the contractor will meet their obligations in a satisfactory manner. Many federal, state, and private-sector projects require bonds to qualify for the procurement. For many small businesses, bonds are very difficult to obtain through commercial channels, so Angelo used the SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program. Under the program, the SBA can guarantee eligible contract bid bonds, payment bonds and performance bonds up to $2 million.
"My business has benefited from the many of the SBA’s programs and services,” said Angelo. “They have helped us provide quality work for our customers."
Many successful entrepreneurs believe in giving back to the community, and Angelo is no exception. He is a proud sponsor of the annual “Bowl with the Birds" fundraiser which benefits 100 West Philadelphia low-to-moderate income youth through the Dollar-4-Dollars Program. The program centers around goal based saving and financial education. The highlight of the program is the incentive- based savings component that matches every dollar saved by a participant.
Angelo also sponsors the James Hughes Memorial Scholarship Fund Golf Classic, which funds the expansion of opportunities in higher education for deserving Philadelphia students.
In 2006, Angelo honored his mother by donating $10,000 to establish the Bessie I. Perryman Construction Education Scholarship. The program provides scholarships to empower disadvantaged youth pursuing a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Construction Management and/or Finance to realize their dreams of a college education. The scholarship is available to high school seniors about to enter college who are from single parent households and reside either in Philadelphia, PA and its surrounding suburbs or in the state of Alabama. Angelo said, “In my efforts to grow bigger and better, I knew there was a process, and that process tied back to education. My mother always encouraged me to achieve any goal with what she coined as her "3 Ps" - pray, plan, proceed. I owed her something for believing in me, and this is one way of repaying her for service as a teacher, community advocate and good citizenship. She remains committed to service.”
The SBA's Philadelphia District Director David C. Dickson stated, "It is always a pleasure to assist small businesses such as Perryman Construction by enabling them to grow, hire people, and help the communities in which they operate. Angelo has done a fine job developing his small business by providing his customers with excellent service. The technical assistance that he has received from the Enterprise Center has been outstanding. We are proud to be associated with them both!"
The Philadelphia District Office will continue to develop partnerships with Faith-based and Community organizations like the Enterprise Center to assist entrepreneurs just like Angelo Perryman.
Are you tired of working for someone else? Have you ever dreamed of owning your own business? In 1992, that dream came true for Kevin Rhodes, President and founder of Fragrance Manufacturing Incorporated (FMI). With the help of a loan backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), FMI is now a rapidly growing full-service contract manufacturer specializing in short-run production for the fragrance, household products, and personal care industries.
After graduating from Lafayette College, Easton, Pa., Kevin worked for Procter & Gamble for 10 years. He held a variety of management positions, including responsibility for P&G’s fragrance compounding operation. While there, Kevin attended New York University's Stern School of Business, earning a master’s degree in Business Administration in 1991. He resigned from Procter & Gamble in 1992 to start FMI.
Kevin assembled a leadership team of seasoned professionals who possess a wide range of business and entrepreneurial skills. From the beginning, he emphasized a culture of customer focus and timely communication with management and employees.
In 1995, a customer asked FMI to fill bottles with massage oil because she was having trouble finding a reliable, high quality source to fill small volumes (1,000 to 2,500 bottles) of this product line. Although they did not have equipment to fill the bottles, the customer knew, based on business reputation, that if FMI made a commitment to do the job, she would receive the filled bottles as promised. This request led to the beginning of FMI’s successful expansion into the personal care consumer products industry.
FMI has increased its sales by establishing a personal commitment to the success of every customer, according to Rhodes. He stress the company, through it employees, is dedicated to exceeding customers’ expectations for reliable, professional delivery of both their existing and developing product portfolios. “Our Customers feel like partners because we treat their products as if they are our own,” said Kevin.
The rapid growth has necessitated equally swift expansion, from 10,000 square feet to 16,000 square feet in 1997, and 20,000 square feet in 1998. By late 2000, the demand for “short-run” services was sufficient to undertake another significant capacity investment.
In October 2001, FMI successfully moved into a 52,000 square foot building in Allentown. Along with this move, Rhodes made major infrastructure improvements, including increasing lab space, capacity and implementing a state-of-the-art inventory tracking system. Infrastructure improvements were financed with several loans through National Penn Bank using the U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program.
The SBA’s loan guaranty program is the agency’s primary financial assistance instrument. The program provides guarantees on business loans to help qualified entrepreneurs secure financing on reasonable terms. It operates through private-sector lenders who fund the loans. The SBA established a maximum loan amount of $2 million under the program. The eligibility requirements are designed to be as broad as possible in order that this lending program can accommodate a variety of small business financing needs.
Mike Pearson, President and owner of Union Packaging, LLC (UP) in Yeadon, Pennsylvania, founded his business in 1999 with 12 employees and minimal sales. His vision was to create a minority-owned packaging company that understands and delivers top customer service and quality products. Today, UP has a diverse workforce of 85 people, with annual sales surpassing $20 million.