Success Stories


Larry and Jeanne Kirk had a dream to own a casual, full service restaurant specializing in traditional American cuisine with a southern flair. The Kirks began to renovate a historical home in downtown Owensboro, KY that had fallen into disrepair. The Kirks purchased the home in 2006 with plans to restore its former glamour, but just as construction was to start in 2007, a tornado hit. This caused extensive damage to the property.

Solution: How the SBA helped

The Kirks connected with Lois Decker, Center Director for the Murray State University SBDC in Owensboro. Ms. Decker helped them develop a business plan and financial projections for the business. The Kirks used this information to obtain an SBA 504 loan.   Repairs and restoration took another two years. However, Ms. Decker helped the Kirks successfully open the restaurant in 2009. As the business grew and incurred other obstacles, including a severe... Read More


Lesme Romero came to the U.S. from Venezuela to continue his education. He met Reinaldo Gonzalez in college. With similar backgrounds, they became friends and roommates. They cooked together, often making pasta. After college, they went separate ways but stayed in touch. During a visit, Lesme and Reinaldo, who had become a chef, decided to launch a pasta business called EZ Foods, Inc. in Lexington, KY. The original location was a one-car garage. They quickly outgrew the space and relocated to a small street-level retail site with a tiny manufacturing center in the basement to produce pasta. Their first order was for 20 pounds of pasta and took 20 hours to make. The countertop pasta machine they purchased was insufficient for the orders.

Solution: How the SBA helped: 

In 2013, the owners contacted the Lexington SBDC for assistance. The SBDC helped them streamline production and develop a business plan to... Read More


Chella Subram immigrated from India to the U.S. in 1992 to attend engineering graduate school in Wisconsin. After graduating, he took a consulting job in Louisville, Kentucky. In 2003, he opened Cornerstone Engineering, Inc. (CEI) in Louisville. An engineering and design-build firm, CEI offers over 175 years of combined experience and has completed over 500 projects in 12 states. CEI core services include architectural and engineering design, CA, and special inspections for new above ground and below ground buildings and utilities, and assessments, restoration and strengthening for existing aging infrastructure. CEI specializes in modern strengthening technologies, including Carbon-Fiber and Glass-Fiber Reinforced Polymers (CFRP and GFRP), which has saved hundreds of hours of on-site-time and tens of millions of dollars on projects for the owners.  The business is minority and family-owned (Chella Subram and spouse Gloria Manimuthu) and has offices in Louisville and... Read More


After holding mid-senior level positions in business development and strategic marketing roles with several Fortune 1000 Companies and mid-senior level assignments with the U.S. Air Force Reserves and the Pentagon, Scott Allen decided to move back to his roots in west Kentucky and open Wisdom Tree Technologies, LLC in 2007. Wisdom Tree Technologies (WTT) serves the defense, law enforcement, national security and inter-agency industries as well as corporations. The company is an SBA 8(a) certified business that is a Native-American and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business headquartered in Murray, KY. Despite the unique skills offered and SBA certifications, WTT had difficulty obtaining federal government contracts.

Solution-How the SBA helped:

Scott Allen, President and CEO, connected with Cherie Guilford, Business Opportunity Specialist with the SBA Kentucky... Read More