Ride-Away Handicap Equipment Corporation
Ride-Away is in the business of adapting passenger vans and motor vehicles to address the needs of people who have physical challenges. In 2010 they were the largest provider of wheelchair vans, with 11 offices in 9 states from Maine to Florida. The business is also in the business of investing in the communities they serve by donating at least 10 percent of their earnings to more than 20 local, regional and national charitable organizations engaged in assisting men, women and children to flourish in the face of many physical disabilities.
In the early 1990’s Ride-Away needed to find capital for growth while the credit markets were shrinking. Mark Lore’s company with 14 employees was on the brink of failure when he mentioned his situation to the son of an SBA employee in New Hampshire. Mark had contacted 15 lenders with no success. He then contacted SBA’s Concord, NH office and obtained a SBA guaranteed $300,000 loan in 1991.
Since the first loan in 1991, Ride-Away has obtained 6 additional SBA loans for approximately $2 million. The funds were used to fund their expansion to an additional 10 locations and to purchase a headquarters building with the help of a SBA 504 loan in 2003.
The business now has 165 employees engaged in the design, manufacture, sales, training, and service of vehicles personalized to meet the very diverse needs of their clientele. In the wake of the military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, they have worked closely with the Veteran’s Administration to adapt vehicle to address specific needs for returning Vets. Their vehicles are recognized as essential components in helping service disabled veterans continue on the path to recovery.