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When Casey Steele decided to combine her love of baking with the desire to own a business, she knew she was in for a lot of work. Her friends and family offered up encouragement, but she felt uncertain about business planning. Then her dentist referred her to the SCORE mentoring program. SCORE mentors provide free, confidential counseling to small business owners nationwide. Casey was able to connect with a mentor who helped her find answers to the tough questions, provided her with relevant information, and stayed with her as the business changed and evolved. Learn how Casey turned her dream of owning her own business into the first kitchen incubator in North Dakota.
Qualey Granite was opened for business in 2003 by Matt Qualey. Initially providing granite countertops for kitchens and baths, the business expanded in 2006, with the assistance of Bangor Savings Bank and an SBA 7a loan, and began offering a full range of flooring tiles. By 2010 the business had moved into its current facility in Veazie, Maine which includes a warehouse and state of the art home design center. By 2011, again with the assistance of Bangor Savings Bank and the SBA, the company added another line becoming a distributor for Consentino and sales surged to over $1.5 million. They added a new sales representative position in 2012 and have seen positive sales results with their company now offering one of the largest stone inventories north of Boston.
Matt Qualey is a true “Mainer” having grown up on a potato farm in Aroostook County and graduating from the University of Maine. While preparing for graduate school, Mr. Qualey apprenticed with Irish stone masons in Boston. He then started Qualey Enterprises, a full service landscaping and hardscaping company which evolved into Qualey Granite & Quartz. He’s maintained a fluid business plan adjusting to meet market demands and adding more products and diversity as needed for the business to continue to grow and prosper. Thanks to Mr. Qualey’s business acumen and understanding of the industry, Qualey Granite & Quartz has successfully weathered the economic challenges of the construction and home improvement industry and remains well positioned for continued growth as the economy improves.
Matt attributes his success to providing superior customer service and a wide variety of stone, wood flooring and tile options for customers. Right alongside Matt is his wife, Laurie, who works full time in the business. If you visit Qualey Granite and Quartz, be on the lookout for their mascots, Penelope and Gaius, two of their rescued Chihuahuas.
U.S. Small Business Administration Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho celebrated the success of veteran-owned small businesses in observance of Veterans Day at Yurchak Printing, Inc. Wed., Nov. 6, 2013. Olson-Urtecho highlighted how local veteran-owned small businesses may be able to benefit from SBA programs to start businesses and create jobs like Yurchak Printing, Inc., a veteran-owned business which obtained a $1.2 million 504 loan in 2011, through SBA lending partners EDC Finance Corporation and Metro Bank, to refinance its building and equipment as well as to acquire another firm.
"It’s great to be able to recognize veteran-owned businesses. At SBA we understand how much our nation’s veterans have given during their service and we are honored to serve them," Olson-Urtecho said. “Small businesses are absolutely vital to our region’s economy as well as our nation’s economy. Veteran-owned small businesses like Yurchak Printing, Inc. are exactly what SBA’s mission to help small businesses start, grow and succeed is all about."
“We worked through our local economic development corporation, the EDC Finance Corporation, an SBA Certified Development Company. We found the experience to be very workable and efficient. They were knowledgeable about the process making it easy to work with them to get the SBA-backed loan in place,” said company CEO John Yurchak, Jr.
Yurchak Printing, Inc., the small batch printing firm which printed the Bibles used by President Barack Obama as gifts for his inauguration, was founded by Yurchak, Jr. in 1998 to fulfill a need brought about by the digital age. Today the company is a leader in digital short-run book manufacturing, specializing in solutions for the production of directories, periodical and journals, reference books, fine edition and illustrated books, bibles, children’s books, bound galley’s and university press books. In 2011, Yurchak Printing began servicing the clients of Odyssey Press, Inc. and the combined company is a leader in the book, journal and article reprint marketplace, continuing to create innovative solutions to offer high quality, short-run digital book manufacturing services to the publishing industry, manufacturing and service companies, professional associations, government agencies, colleges and universities.
"For small businesses looking to start or grow, an SBA loan may be able to help. The SBA 504 loan program reduces the risk, which means SBA lending partners are more likely to help small businesses obtain a loan," said David Dickson, District Director for SBA's Philadelphia District Office.
“We’ve assisted Yurchak Printing several times over the years, as John Yurchak has worked to transition the company to meet the needs of the ever-changing printing industry. We are proud to have helped him with his most recent SBA 504 loan and that the SBA has chosen to recognize him for his contributions to the country and to economic development in Pennsylvania,” said Lyle D. Hosler, Vice President of EDC Finance Corporation.
SBA's district offices serve every state and territory in the United States and SBA works with its local resource partners – SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, and Women's Business Centers – to provide technical business counseling to entrepreneurs at every stage of small business development. Visit www.sba.gov for more information.