SBA offers information on small business loans, grants, bonds and other financial assistance. Find out which method of financing is right for you!Learn More about Small Business Loans, Grants, Bonds & Other Financial Assistance
While SBA does not make loans directly, you can find a local lender who can help you with your loan application. You may also speak directly with a local SBA representative by calling .
Events & Workshops
Explore events by this district office.
For Small Business Owners
Resources in Your Area
Resources from Our Office
News & Press Releases
Richard B. Beeson, Jr., President of Park Midway Bank, has been named Minnesota Financial Services Champion of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The Financial Services Champion award is presented annually in each state to individuals who assist small businesses through advocacy efforts to increase the usefulness and availability of accounting or financial services.
Beeson has been president of Park Midway Bank for fifteen years. During that time, Park Midway has grown from a small neighborhood bank to a vibrant $260 million organization with a strong community presence. This growth can be attributed to Rick’s leadership and vision in developing a focus on the needs of small business.
In his role as president, providing banking services to small businesses is an integral part of Beeson’s job. Park Midway has been designated as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), an honor earned for lending to small businesses in low income communities. The Bank is also participating in a pilot program to provide New Market Tax Credits financing to small businesses located in the most distressed areas of the Twin Cities. Most importantly, it was through Beeson’s vision and leadership that Park Midway started an SBA lending division, which has approved more than $150 million in SBA 7(a) and 504 loans since 1998.
Prior to his time at Park Midway Bank, Beeson worked for the City of Saint Paul’s Department of Planning and Economic Development, where for ten years he successfully implemented financial plans and redevelopment efforts for the capital city. He also worked for the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency.
Beeson is a committed volunteer. His community service resume, dating back to 1980, outlines leadership and participation in fifty different organizations ranging from community, civic, human services, business groups and trade associations. Recent notable involvement includes: Chair of St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, Managing Co-Chair of Central Corridor LRT Partnership, and now University of Minnesota Board of Regents.
Andrew Wells III, President and CEO of Wells Technology based in Bemidji, Minn., has been named the Minnesota Small Business Person of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration.
The Small Business Person of the year is selected annually based on growth in sales or unit volume, increase in the number of employees, financial strength, innovativeness of product or service and evidence of contributions to community-oriented projects. Sherri Komrosky, Program Director of the Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC), nominated Wells for this award.
Andy Wells is a member of the Red Lake Ojibwa Tribe and still maintains his family farm on the Red Lake Reservation. Andy graduated with a Master of Science degree from Bemidji State University in 1969 and spent 17 years teaching in public schools and universities. During this time, he authored several text books on electronics and received U.S. patents on 7 new products. From 1986 to 1989, Andy served as an Automation Consultant to Control Data Corporation in Minneapolis. In 1989, Andy began Wells Technology with an investment of $1,300 to manufacture industrial tools and fasteners for customers while also creating jobs for economically disadvantaged people. To serve the Native American people of Northern Minnesota, the Wells Technology facility was located between the three reservations of Red Lake, Leech Lake, and White Earth. In 1994, Andy began precision manufacturing with CNC machining equipment and BAE Systems was one of the first major aerospace companies to begin doing business with Wells Technology. As the business grew in the early years, Wells Technology worked with the MMSDC, SBA, and PTAC agencies to obtain the certifications of SDB, 8(a), HUB Zone, and MBE.
In 2004, Andy realized he needed management training to grow the company beyond 14 employees. Therefore, he worked with the Fastenal Company to develop an SBA-approved mentor-protégé agreement. With mentoring from Fastenal, Wells Technology developed a growth strategy by expanding manufacturing and beginning national distribution of industrial supplies. As business grew through 2008, Wells Technology had added many new jobs for a total of 32 employees.
However, new jobs required industrial skills that Native American people did not have. Therefore, in 2006, Andy began using profits to invest in the Native American people by creating Wells Academy, a 501c3 non-profit school for industrial training. This is an apprentice program which respects Native American cultural values while providing marketable technical skills and achieves a 92% retention rate.
Andy also supports his community through his roles on several local and state boards, community councils, economic development efforts, and as a mentor to other entrepreneurs. In 2007, Andy received the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award from the Metropolitan Economic Development Commission which is located in Minneapolis. Then, in 2008, Andy received the “American Indian Business of the Year” from the National Center for American Indian Economic Development which represents all 560 tribes in America. Andy believes that success in life also brings a responsibility to be significant by doing good things to help other people.
What kind of personalities would take on the challenge of starting a company to manufacture a ‘good economy’ product in the midst of an economic recession, in the eastern part of the country, which automatically ensures higher distribution costs? Meet Tom Sturtevant and Trapper Clark.
Tom had built and sold several successful companies in the past, while Trapper knew all there was to know about the manufacturing of aluminum trailers. Together, they founded ALCOM Inc. out of a facility in Waterville, Maine and began to change the face of the North America’s aluminum trailer industry. Beginning with a core of 20 local employees in 2006, ALCOM began producing some of the forward thinking designs that Trapper was coming up with in the field of snow trailers. While many Maine companies never achieve annual sales of 2 million dollars, ALCOM crossed that threshold in its inaugural year. Their employee roster grew to over 55 employees by the fall of 2009, and with the relocation to their newly constructed 70,000 square foot facility in Winslow, Maine, their employment base immediately grew to 85; and based on projected sales over the next 24 months they hope to add a total of 40 new employees. Revenues increased 245% in 2007 and then bumped up another 65% in 2008. At the height of the recession, ALCOM was experiencing 2009 sales growth in excess of 25%, year over year. Sales for the first five months of 2010 showed an increase of about 60%.
Meanwhile, in an effort to expand their market outside of New England, ALCOM first devised a way to minimize freight costs to dealers so that they would not be paying for shipment from Maine, but from Indiana, where most other trailer manufacturers were located. Their ability to create this solution increased unit sales. Today, a strong relationship with Bill’s Auto Transport, a Maine trucking company, allows ALCOM to ship to the west coast affordably.
The story of ALCOM goes beyond just running a successful business. They employ Maine workers and support their local and Maine economy. They also contribute unselfishly to faith-based organizations and families in need. Tom and Trapper contribute thousands of dollars a year to charities and helped support nine families in Haiti even before the earthquake highlighted the needs of that country. Tom and Trapper share complementing talents along with a focused vision and a commitment to giving back – knowing that true success is attributable to many.