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: email@example.com) or the SBDC at (304) 233-5900 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
There are companies that start up and soon fizzle. There are companies that start up, struggle, and slowly grow. Then, there are companies that start up and seem to take off like a rocket, up to the sky and beyond. Such seems to be the case for HMS Technologies, Inc. Founded on the basic principals of duty, honor, and commitment to excellence, Harry M. Siegel, president and CEO, has overseen the steady growth of HMS, Inc. since its inception in 2003. The company has received numerous recognitions since then, the most recent being an award for the 2007 Congressional Medal of Distinction for Small Business Excellence.
HMS, Inc. has progressed “from just me and nothing to $20 million in sales,” Siegel, the sole owner of the business reports. The company specializes in information technology (IT) and provides aids for health-care professionals and first responders. Mobile computing is the strength of the company, which has grown over 3000% with clientele mostly in the military and federal arena.
Headquartered in historic Martinsburg, W.Va., HMS, Inc. is a certified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) with 45 percent of the staff consisting of veterans. A highly decorated Service-Disabled Vietnam Veteran and graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Siegel not only utilizes the expertise and experience of other veterans, he provides mentoring to other veterans who are small business owners. When asked if he worries about creating competition, he states: “Instead of growing competitors, I’m growing teammates.”
Siegel has always been a hard worker. Born in Anderson, S.C., he began working at age six at his uncle’s gas station. At age nine, he had three paper routes; and as he grew older, he went on to work in his dad’s gun shop. He also attained the rank of Eagle Scout while a member of the Boy Scouts.
At HMS Technologies, Inc., ethics begins and ends with Harry M. Siegel. He has never taken an ethics class and has only read one book on the subject, which was bought on impulse at an airport bookstore. Siegel doesn’t just follow the Golden Rule in aligning his life activities; he goes way beyond it.
Siegel emulates his work ethic and training everyday at HMS. As a result, he has developed an exceedingly loyal and highly trained staff. Of his 20 employees, 95 percent have bachelor’s degrees and 60 percent have master’s degrees. To create a more cohesive group, each employee has company letter jackets and can earn pins for various levels of performance. When in the community, HMS employees can be easily recognized. Siegel’s leadership skills have been chronicled in a recent interview and profile in a book on leadership and in articles on ethics in American Executive Magazine.
For HMS Technologies and Siegel, the basic tenet is, “If I don’t think something is good for the country, I’ll walk away from the project.” For Siegel, the bottom line is, “I like to look in the mirror at the end of the day and say it’s been an honorable day.”
While HMS is primarily an IT firm, the company developed an innovative and important life-saving device which has been made available to the Federal Government. Called EZ-IO from Vida Care, the device is a small, battery-powered, intraosseous (IO) drive and needle set that provides fast, safe and controllable intraosseous access as an alternative to failed emergency IV access. The product, which provides injections directly to the marrow of the bone, has been credited with saving more than 400 American lives in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Siegel was awarded the coveted Ronald Reagan Gold Medal in 2005 for Small Business Excellence; was named 2005 Business Man of the Year by the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC); and was named Empire Who’s Who IT Systems Integration Professional of the Year for 2005. In 2006, he was recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as Veteran Champion of the Year for West Virginia. HMS was also awarded the Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business of the Year by the Secretary of Defense in 2007.
HMS sponsors an annual college scholarship for the child of an American service member who has served overseas, has paid for “messages home from the front” for service members stationed overseas, and has sponsored the Winter and Summer Olympic Games on the local NBC channel and local sports teams for youth leagues. The corporation always lends a hand on major fund raisers including the Boys and Girls Clubs, Shriners’ Children’s hospital drives, and local Chamber of Commerce charity events.
Siegel has mentored 13 other start-up organizations and always makes time for other entrepreneurs, with a willingness to meet and share his knowledge, encouragement and expertise. Siegel never says no to a qualified business request. A tireless professional who does his utmost to aide and assist others anytime day or night, he also serves on Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capitos’ board to select West Virginia youth for service academies.
A 32nd Degree Master Mason and involved in the American Legion, AMVETS, and Moose Lodge, Siegel also serves as Tech Advisory Member for Jefferson County; as a member of the Board of Directors for East Ridge Mental Health, FOCUS, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Thanks Plain and Simple, Berkeley County Development Authority and Ambulance Authority.
Siegel resides in Falling Waters, W.Va. with his wife, Wendy, and son Sloane. The Siegel’s own and operate Maralie Farm, a rescue horse farm and site of a handicapped and underprivileged children’s riding program designed to enhance their self-worth and ability to meld into society.