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Richmond District Office Success Stories

Richmond District Office Success Stories

"Plan B" produces successful Cabinetry business:  Martin-Star Cabinetry and Design, LLC

Martin-Star Cabinetry and Design, LLC
1610 W. Main Street
Richmond, VA 23220


Martin-Star Cabinetry started as a sole-proprietorship in 2005.  The owner, Joshua Kayer, had no formal training as a cabinet maker but loved the creative process and challenges from taking pieces of wood and turning them into functional and beautiful pieces of art.  Prior to starting this business, Mr. Kayer was a member of a very successful rock band, traveling the country, and recording under Madonna’s record label.  He always knew he wanted to eventually settle down and have a family, and that he needed a “Plan B”.  His “Plan B” evolved into Martin-Star.  Mr. Kayer has entrepreneurship in his blood.  His great-grandfather, grandfather, and father were entrepreneurs, running Mama Kayer’s bakery in Norfolk for over 100 years before selling it in 2007.  Josh said that he always knew that one day he would run his own business.  

Like most small businesses, sales and profits were meager in the beginning, and for most of the first few years, the business consisted of Josh and 1-2 creative folks he employed on an as-needed basis.  Revenues began to grow in 2007, at which time he converted to a LLC and hired more staff.  He also took on some of his first commercial work, providing cabinetry and seating for area restaurants.  It was during this time that Fulton Bank began to work with Josh, using an SBA guaranteed loan to provide the financing he needed to grow his business.

His reputation for quality craftsmanship and timely completion of his jobs helped Josh grow the business even through a time of unprecedented economic turmoil, and in 2010 the bank provided him additional funding (again on a SBA-guaranteed basis), to enable him to update his shop and purchase additional equipment to help him meet the needs of his clients.

The 7(a) Program is SBA's primary lending program. It provides loan guaranties for small businesses unable to secure financing on reasonable terms through normal lending channels. The program operates through private-sector lenders who provide loans which are, in turn, guaranteed by the SBA. A maximum loan amount of $5 million has been established for 7(a) loans.  The eligibility requirements are designed to be as broad as possible in order that this lending program can accommodate the most diverse variety of small business financing needs.

According to Mike Austin, senior vice president of Fulton Bank, “It has been exciting to watch Mr. Kayer grow this business from an idea to a viable small business, and none of the funding he needed to grow would have been available without the support of the SBA via its various loan programs.” 

Mr. Kayer noted that without the SBA loan programs he would not have been able to secure the financing he needed to grow his business and he also added, “Mike Austin has been a great asset to our business.”

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