United Bank, Inc., with offices located throughout West Virginia is one of the newest lenders participating in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s SBAExpress Loan Program, announced Judy K. McCauley, director of the Agency’s West Virginia District Office.
As an approved SBAExpress lender, United is a source of business capital, up to $350,000, for qualified small business owners. A key feature of the program is its simplified process, which quickly puts money in the hands of entrepreneurs.
Bill D’Alesio, senior vice president of United Bank in Weirton, W.Va., has utilized the SBAExpress loan program numerous times and finds it to be an excellent small business tool.
“United is excited to be an approved SBAExpress lender,” said D’Alesio. “We are committed to make a difference in peoples’ lives through our commercial loan programs.”
Three small business owners who received a SBAExpress loan through United were surprised with the ease of the process. John Dubus, owner of A Taste of the Strip relates, “The loan process was much easier and less time consuming than I expected. I had read a ‘How-To’ book on SBA lending and was anticipating something complicated, but in fact, it was quite painless.”
Christine Rosnick, who operates The Children’s Academy was impressed with the effort put forth by United and the Small Business Development Center. “Bill D’Alesio and Donna Cooper at United were wonderful to deal with and worked tirelessly to make sure the loan process was successful. Ed Powell at the SBDC was also extremely helpful with securing this, my second SBA loan.”
“It was a great experience dealing with the SBA loan process,” conveyed Sharon and Donald Green who owns Dream Green. “From our first contact with the SBDC, who provided great support and assistance, to the actual working with United Bank through the loan process, the journey was swift and smooth. We couldn’t have asked for more professional or knowledgeable people to assist us.” Ed Powell, business analyst for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) located at West Virginia Northern Community College said, “All of these businesses were start-ups, relocating or needed working capital. The SBAExpress loan program was an excellent tool in all instances.”
Over 35 percent of the 281 SBA loan guaranties made last year to small businesses were through the SBAExpress Loan Program.
The simplified process, one of the many advantages of the SBAExpress loan for both lenders and borrowers, is made possible by the agreements with qualified lenders authorizing them to make eligibility determinations without direct SBA involvement. Approved lenders may use their own loan application forms and processes instead of the products used by the SBA.
“SBA has streamlined the loan application process through SBAExpress to make smaller business loans more
easily available,” said McCauley. “We are very thrilled to be able to add United Bank to our list of
SBAExpress lenders and look forward to working with Bill D’Alesio and his staff to make that all important access to capital available for small business entrepreneurs.” SBAExpress loans can be used for nearly any business related purpose including: the purchase of land or buildings; acquisition of machinery and equipment; long- and short-term working capital; refinance existing business debt which is not otherwise structured with reasonable terms; or purchase an existing business. Interest rates are tied to the Prime rate (as published in the Wall Street Journal) and may be fixed or variable. Loan maturities follow the same guidelines as the regular SBA 7(a) loan program, 5-10 years for working capital and up to 25 years for machinery, equipment, real estate, and construction.
For more information on the SBAExpress and other SBA programs, contact the West Virginia District office at (800) 767-8052 ext. 8 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or the SBDC at (304) 233-5900 (email: email@example.com) or visit www.sba.gov. Small businesses in Hancock or Brooke counties interested in the SBAExpress loan program can contact Bill D’Alesio or Donna Cooper at United Bank at (304) 723-2000.
All SBA programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis.
Cubby’s Child Care Center, a Bridgeport, W.Va. small business has seen its share trials and tribulations the past year. After having their request for having property within the city limits of Bridgeport rezoned for expansion of a new facility denied, they were unsure of their future.
But, after discussing the issue with the Mayor of Bridgeport and the developer of Charles Pointe, West Virginia’s newest model community, things changed. The result was construction and grand opening of a state-of-the-art child care facility which tripled Cubby’s original square footage and doubled the child care capacity.
“It was a vision from the Lord that got us here and a dream come true to be located at Charles Pointe,” said Joe Spatafore, Cubby’s owner along with his wife Joyce. “We are very happy we decided to locate here, but couldn’t have done it without the help and cooperation from Huntington Bank, Genesis Partnership and the U.S. Small Business Administration.”
The Spatafore’s utilized the SBA’s 504 Certified Development Company loan program through the Regional Economic Development Partnership (RED) to finance the project. The 504 loan, which provides long-term, fixed-rate financing to purchase or construct major fixed assets, was combined with a loan secured by a senior lien from Huntington Bank, to construct the 18,000 square foot facility.
Cubby’s was located within the Bridgeport city limits since 1996 at a 6,000 square foot facility just off Main Street and combined with the constant utilization of the Benedum Civic Center, space restrictions at the original Cubby’s location capacity was 150. The new Charles Pointe location with a capacity of over 300 has allowed Cubby’s to increase their employment by adding 15 new jobs.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be in our new facility,” said Jennifer Trippett, co-director of Cubby’s along with her sisters Janelle DeMarco and Jeanette Laverdierre. “It has been a smooth transition due to the help and support of the families of our enrolled children as well as the dedication from every one of our employees.”
The new facility not only allowed for the increased capacity, but increased classrooms for Pre-K and under from 6 to 14; added four additional rooms for school-age children and a new gymnasium. “Thanks to the ongoing commitment from the community, Huntington Bank, RED and the SBA, we are able to provide a safe, nurturing new environment for the children in the Harrison County area,” added Trippett.
The SBA’s West Virginia Director Judy McCauley said, “The 504 Loan Program is SBA’s economic development tool that supports American small business growth and helps communities through business expansion and job creation. It is an excellent financing source for small businesses like Cubby’s Child Care Center because the program usually requires only a 10 percent equity contribution from the small business towards the total project cost. The lower down payment allows the business to conserve valuable working capital for other needs.”
The grand opening of the facility and ceremonial ribbon-cutting was held on Friday, July 20, 2007 at their new location at 801 Genesis Boulevard in Charles Pointe. Representatives from the SBA, Huntington Bank, Genesis Partnership, the City of Bridgeport, Office of Governor Joe Manchin and the State of West Virginia joined the Spatafores for the ceremony.
Since its founding more than a half-century ago, the U.S. Small Business Administration has delivered about 24 million loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses. In the Small Business Act of July 30, 1953, Congress created the U.S. Small Business Administration, whose function is to “aid, counsel, assist, and protect, insofar as is possible, the interests of small business concerns.” The SBA also helps people recover from disasters and rebuild their lives by providing affordable, timely and accessible financial assistance to homeowners, renters and businesses. The charter also stipulated that the SBA will work to ensure small businesses receive a “fair proportion” of government contracts.
For more information about the SBA, visit their web site at www.sba.gov or contact the West Virginia District Office at (304) 623-5631.
Jason Kuhn and Evan Kranzley, president and vice president of J&E Technical Services located in Martinsburg, W.Va. faced a dilemma. They needed a business loan to purchase a portable X-ray device for their fledgling business to perform non-destructive testing on aircraft, or face losing a huge opportunity to obtain a contract with Northrop Grumman Corporation, the third largest defense contractor for the U.S. Military.
That is where the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Patriot Express Loan Program came to the rescue. The program, available through SBA approved Patriot Express lenders, provides funding to assist active or retired veterans wishing to establish or expand a small business.
Matt Coffey, assistant vice president and business services officer for BB&T in Martinsburg participated in a Patriot Express training program and believed this was a good situation to utilize the loan program.
“Knowing Jason was a U.S. Navy veteran, and the SBA’s Patriot Express program was designed for entrepreneurs with military experience, this was a good fit for J&E,” said Coffey. “We could see the contract opportunities they had were real, they just needed funding to get started.”
Being a recipient of a loan under the Patriot Express Initiative is a fact Kuhn fully appreciates.
“If it wasn’t for BB&T and the SBA guarantee, our business would not have become a reality,” said Kuhn. “The loan not only enabled us to purchase the X-ray device, but has opened a lot of doors for our company.”
In the short time J&E has been in business, sales are approaching nearly one half million and they have been able to expand their staff from three to six, with additional growth forecasted in the near future.
“There are lots of opportunities for expansion in our field,” said Kuhn. “Not a lot of businesses do nondestructive testing, but more and more companies are required to have their equipment tested for stress fractures. In fact, we have been talking with a company about testing giant windmills. The sky is the limit with this company.”
The Patriot Express program is for veterans like Jason that want to start or expand their business. The program is available to service-disabled veterans, active-duty service members eligible for the military’s Transition Assistance Program, Reservists and National Guard members, current spouses of those mentioned and the widowed spouses of service members.
Small businesses can qualify for SBA’s maximum guaranty, up to 85 percent for loans of $150,000 or less and up to 75 percent for loans over $150,000 up to $500,000 under Patriot Express.
“The Patriot Express Loan Initiative is the latest addition to the financial, procurement, and technical assistance programs the SBA provides to the military community,” said Judy McCauley, SBA West Virginia director. “Veterans are a very important part of America’s small business success. Their drive and persistence as business owners make a huge contribution to the strength of America’s economy. It is a privilege to be supporting these brave men and women and their spouses as they establish and achieve their dreams.”
Thanks to the Patriot Express and BB&T that dream is becoming a reality for Jason Kuhn.
For information on the Patriot Express or any of the other SBA loan programs or services, contact Tom White at the SBA’s West Virginia District Office at (304) 623-5631 ext. 233 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit www.sba.gov/wv.