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Success Stories

Minority-Owned Roofing Company Adds Competitive Edge with SBA Programs


Advanced Design Contracting is a construction company known for installing roofing systems in commercial construction, historical renovation, and executive buildings. It is a union shop that self-performs its contracts, which means its employees do all the work it bids on, not subcontracting it out to others - an important quality control that benefits its clients, including the federal government.

Owner Foster Hackett III started the company in 2008. A self-described, “construction worker by training” with limited college and business education, he reached out for assistance learning the business of his trade and has grown the company exponentially using multiple SBA programs and services.


Hackett initially attended the Small and Disadvantaged Business Opportunities Council’s Procurement Fair, meeting with both buyers and economic development agencies,... Read More

Founded in 2000, EXB Solutions provides systems engineering and embedded software development services for safety and mission-critical projects in the aerospace, defense, and medical technology industries. Its team of over 100 professional engineers create software solutions that have helped fly successful space missions, enhanced patients’ lives through innovative medical devices, and advanced commercial flight systems for safer travel. 

When Veteran Chris Schwartzbauer started working for the company early in 2012, it was as a consultant assisting with marketing and strategic planning to increase sales.  Based on what they observed, the owners of the company soon offered Schwartzbauer the role of CEO to reinvigorate the company. After helping it grow at a compound annual growth rate of twenty-seven percent since he started, when the owners approached Schwartzbauer with the opportunity to fulfill his own vision for the company, he decided to dive in and buy... Read More

Craig Samborski, owner of Draw Events, started 2019 with big plans already in action to produce events around the country. The company annually produces the Tall Ships Festival in Duluth, Minn. and is also the owner of the world's largest rubber duck, which travels the world for festivals.

Just before the pandemic, Samborski had five festivals scheduled, with websites built, tickets sold, advertisements bought, and more.  Then COVID-19 hit and, like many other business owners, he didn’t know how long it would last. As the pandemic persisted, all of Draw Events’ festivals needed to be canceled. Samborski needed to figure out how he would survive the pandemic and have the funding needed to restart when things opened back up.

Turning to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Draw Events received an Economic Injury Disaster Loan in August 2020, as well as an EIDL Advance. Those funds helped it survive last year and will continue to... Read More

Tamarack Taproom owner Bob Kinsella remembers March 17, 2020 vividly, sharing, “When I heard that the restaurants were being shut down due to COVID-19, I rushed back to my office to check our bank account and thought - I can't see a path forward. I truly thought that the Taproom, along with three other restaurants I co-own, was done for.”

As Minnesota and the country closed the doors of businesses that weren’t deemed to provide essential services during the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants like his were left wondering if they had a future at all.

As the pandemic progressed, Kinsella heard about and the Taproom received financial support from the U.S. Small Business Administration. His restaurants benefited from the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance, the Paycheck Protection Program, and SBA Debt Relief payments, as well as various local grants.

Kinsella connected with the staff at the SBA’s Minnesota District early in the... Read More