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SBA help proves part of success story for Nebraska small businesses on INC. Magazine’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies

Advisory Date: 
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Michael Foutch (402) 221-7211

Omaha, NE – Access to capital from the U.S. Small Business Administration helped several small businesses in Nebraska make it to INC. Magazine’s 2012 list of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies in the country.

INC. Magazine’s list measures revenue growth from 2008 through 2011 with U.S.-based, privately held, for-profit independent firms.  All revenue figures reflect calendar year 2011, and information on revenues and job growth is based on information available from INC.

“We’re incredibly proud to see these Nebraska-based companies recognized nationally, not just for their phenomenal growth over the past three years, but that they’re serving as an example that despite the continuing challenges throughout the economy facing them, small businesses in our state continue to find opportunities to expand their operations, thereby creating and keeping jobs here,” said Leon Milobar, District Director of the SBA Nebraska District Office.

Sand Creek Post and Beam, the SBA’s Small Business of the Year for Nebraska in 2011, and No. 910 on the list, saw revenues grow 365 percent to $15.5 million.  The Wayne firm, which financed its growth with three SBA-backed loans, including its most recent approval in Jan. 2012, blends building and selling technologically advanced pre-cut, pre-engineered kits which preserve authentic Great Plains post-and-beam barns and outbuildings, many of which even are perfect for a one-of-a-kind rustic home.

OFFWIRE, ranked No. 1,598 overall, but 106th in the business products and services industry, is an Omaha company which distributes  wireless device accessories along with training, promotion and an industry leading inventory management program designed for point-of-sale merchants.  The firm saw revenues jump 184 percent, to $39.2 million, and has added 22 jobs over the past three years.  The company was approved for an SBA-backed 7(a) loan in July 2009.

Five Nines Technology Group, the 220th-fastest-growing IT services firm with offices in Lincoln and Omaha, and the No. 1,676-ranked company on the list, was the SBA’s Small Business of the Year for Nebraska in 2010.  As the company used an SBA Express loan approved Dec. 2008 to help get its start, the firm’s revenues climbed 172 percent, to $8.3 million three years later, adding 42 people to its staff.  The company offers personalized IT consulting and support; "Five nines" refers to the system design protocol of high availability (99.999%) that would result in only 5.26 seconds of downtime per year.

Client/Server Software Solutions (CSSS.NET), which checked in at 128th in the government services industry and No. 1,688th overall on INC. Magazine’s list, used an SBA 7(a) loan in Aug. 2001 to help finance early growth from its Bellevue headquarters, and over the past three years added 43 positions and grew revenue 171 percent to $27.1 million. The company, owned by a service-disabled veteran, offers a full spectrum of IT services, including project management, software and application development, systems engineering, and cyber security, to Department of Defense, intelligence community, and civilian agency customers nationwide.

Right at Home, found at No. 2,847 on the list, and 230th in the health industry, has had franchisees approved for SBA-financed loans. The Omaha-based company provides companionship, personal care, and light skilled nursing for senior citizens and disabled adults in their homes through a staff of professional caregivers. Right at Home has more than 250 locations in 41 states nationwide as well as locations in the United Kingdom, Brazil, China and Canada. Right at Home’s total revenue since the company began franchising in 2000 has surpassed the $1 billion milestone, representing more than 50 million hours of care provided to more than 75,000 clients.

Norfolk-based Sterling Computers, at 202nd in the government services industry and No. 3,277 overall, provides and resells computer hardware, software, peripherals, supplies and information management services to the federal government, specializing in mission critical systems design and cyber security.  The firm, which was approved for SBA financing in March 2004, grew revenues 61 percent, to $158.3 million, and grew its workforce by 22 people.

Body Basics Fitness Equipment grew 49 percent to $3.7 million, and ranked 149th among retail-based businesses on INC. Magazine’s list, and 3,629th overall.  The Omaha-based company, which got an SBA 7(a) loan Oct. 1995, sells and services fitness equipment for residential and commercial clients such as police, fire, corporations, and apartment complexes.

Providing marketing website services and dedicated support to small and mid-sized businesses, nonprofit organizations and entrepreneurs, Lincoln-based Firespring grew 10 percent, and ranked 407th in the advertising and marketing industry, at 4,866th overall. Firespring was approved for a guaranteed loan under the 504 program, an SBA initiative which promotes business growth and economic development, in Dec. 2011.

The number of small business loans financed through the SBA proved crucial to start-up and existing small business owners across Nebraska by providing needed access to capital in Fiscal Year 2012; 441 loans for $156.5 million in loan guarantees closely matched the previous pre-recessionary participation rate.  

In a strong sign of confidence in Nebraska’s entrepreneurial economy, 45 percent of SBA loan approvals in Fiscal 2012 went to fund new businesses.  Normally, between 33 to 40 percent of SBA-backed loans are made to start-up companies.

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