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Success Stories


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
More than a Restaurant: Creating Jobs and Help for Refugees

The Café received an SBA 504 loan for $445,000 to provide long-term, fixed financing to purchase equipment and relocate a restaurant to an older building on the edge of downtown Louisville, KY. There are 39 employees at the restaurant; approximately 22 jobs were created by an SBA 504 loan.

“We absolutely could not have pulled this off without the help of the SBA and the bank” said Sal Rubino. “The loan officer at the bank along with folks at the Certified Development Company (CDC) completely walked us through the process of obtaining the SBA loan.  It was their dedication and support that ultimately made our dream come true."

The Cafe is more than just a restaurant. Forty year restaurant veterans Sal and Cindy Rubino, co-owners of the restaurant, are all about MORE.  They are committed to giving patrons more than expected on the plate and more than expected in hospitality and service. But, it does not stop there. More than 70% of The Cafe's staff is either refugees... Read More

Brief description of the business:  Brittney Howard sought financing to launch a brand new business. She and her husband, Marcus, had recently relocated from Flint, Michigan to Louisville, Kentucky. Brittney was considering new opportunities. After working in the automotive industry in Flint, she decided to become a restaurant owner and developed a plan to open her own franchise. The Howards secured a small business loan through CEI 7(a), also known as C7a. Brittney then opened Freakin’ Unbelievable Burgers, a new fast casual restaurant that had its original location in Flint. She and Marcus became the first franchise operators for the company.

SBA Assistance: An SBA loan to purchase the franchise through C7a, a non-bank lender licensed by SBA to participate in the SBA 7(a) loan guaranty program.

Number of employees: 12

Response to adversity or problems: The Howards relocated to Louisville from Flint, Michigan in 2015. Brittney had spent 11 years working in the... Read More