Success Stories

Russell Beaver, President and Owner of RB Construction Company, has been active in the construction industry for over 55 years. An ironworker by trade, Mr. Beaver founded RB Construction Company in 1984. Initially RB performed small concrete and steel erection projects. After establishing a formal builder agreement with NUCOR Building Systems in the mid-eighties, the company expanded its business to complete numerous pre-engineered metal building projects. In the mid-nineties, the company established a formal builder agreement with A&S Building Systems, L.P., which allowed RB to offer a wider array of products and services. The company has maintained that relationship for more than 20 years, and has received numerous awards of excellence in the execution of product design, delivery and finish. RB Construction Company has added distribution of United Structures of America, making it one of the premier, minority based pre-engineered building companies in of Michigan.

In... Read More

In the fall of 2014, when 7-Eleven announced it was shutting down franchises, Joe and Shannon Orriss made a life changing decision. After six years of operating the franchise, they were given the option to buy their store. “We made this store what it is, and the majority of customers come here because it’s us, not because it’s a 7-Eleven,” Orriss said. “We’ve put so much of ourselves into this place, we couldn’t just walk away. And there are six of us who would be out of a job if we did.” Thus began their venture outside the franchise world and into the world of preparing for and becoming business owners.

7-Eleven indicated they wanted to move quickly so Orriss immediately started researching ways to update and improve the store, and figuring out what the total project would cost. He contacted the Michigan Small Business Development Center regional office in Flint for help in putting together a business plan and in preparing to get financing. SBDC Regional Director Marsha... Read More

World Class Equipment Company is a Macomb, Michigan manufacturer of conveyors, robotic work cells, custom automation, robotic end-of-arm-tooling, automatic and manual assembly stations, fully automated weld cells, fixtures and more. The company was formed in 2012 by co-owners Mark Matheson, President, and Jeffrey Hinsperger, Vice President in order to meet the demands of turnkey automation solutions. With over 20 years of experience, World Class Equipment Company is a one stop shop for fully automated systems in the automotive, oil & gas, transportation and aerospace industries.

In 2014, Matheson and Hinsperger were strategizing how to finance export sales worth $2,500,000 from companies in Brazil, China, and Mexico. That’s when they were approached by Kyle Anne Sasena, an international product specialist and loan officer at Level One Bank. The community-based financial institution was a relatively new player in the world of small business finance, but it had a seasoned... Read More

Recently, the SBA Michigan District Office conducted a pilot program called Getting to 
Yes. The initiative was a result of SBA Michigan District Director Gerald Moore’s travel 
to Michigan’s 83 counties where he heard countless times that small business could not 
access financing. He challenged the SBA staff to develop a program that addressed the 
issues faced by small business owners who were seeking financing. Getting to Yes met
that challenge by combining education, consultation, pitch practicing, and access to 
lenders in a four stage process. 

Nora Contacting is an 8(a) construction contracting company owned by Audie Brinker. 
Together with his Chief Financial Officer, Domenic Maiuri, they applied to be part of the 
Getting to yes program. Domenic was diligent about attending each training session and 
meeting with his consultant Julie Oldham from the Small Business Development Center. 
Oldham, a CPA, specializes in... Read More