Success Stories

Charlie Staples adds a “full cup of love in every batch” of his secret, original barbeque sauce, making it truly something special.  Charlie has owned and operated the Charlie Staples Bar-B-Q Restaurant in downtown Youngstown, Ohio since 1974.  With the help of two SBA guaranteed loans through Huntington Bank in Youngstown (formally Sky Bank) and the local Youngstown Initiative program, the business was able to first upgrade and then move across the street to a new 15,000 square foot building near Youngstown State University.

The barbeque restaurant has a New Orleans style Southern theme that features barbeque ribs, chicken, and shrimp on its menu.  25% of the restaurant customers are dine-in, with the remaining being carry-out.  The dine-in crowd is growing.  Charcoal and cherry wood are used in the grill to further provide a unique, original taste.  “My special signature barbeque sauce recipe is actually 70 years old,” stated Charlie.  “I purchased it 35 years ago, and the... Read More

Ken Chelko, owner and founder of Gooey Promotions, has a passion.  That passion is to tell anyone who will listen how important it is to support our veterans.  “Veterans come from all economic classes, races, religions and education levels,” states Ken.  “Veterans are the only group that has put their lives on the line, and they have done so because they truly love their country.”

Ken Chelko is a veteran, and Gooey Promotions is a proud Veteran-Owned Small Business (VSOB).

Ken established Gooey Promotions in 2000.  It operates as a full service advertising specialties company that distributes a wide range of items that can be logoed to promote its customer’s organization or products.  Gooey Promotions prides itself on helping customers find a cost effective way to market and promote their business through custom promotional items. 

The firm distributes over 600,000 promotional items ranging from coffee mugs to golf balls, pens to tape measures, desk accessories... Read More

Trucking Down the Road

Doris Young, Owner and School Director of Great Lakes Truck Driving School, Inc. of Columbia Station, Ohio, has been named the 2010 Small Business Person of the Year by the Cleveland District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

"Ms. Young and her company exemplify the critical role that small businesses play in growing our economy through the creation of jobs," said Gil Goldberg, District Director of SBA's Cleveland District Office. "It is with great pride that we offer our congratulations to Ms. Young on this well-deserved honor."

Mr. Goldberg noted that nominees for this award are judged on several criteria, including growth in number of employees; increase in sales and/or unit volume; strong current and past financial reports; innovativeness of product or service offered; response to adversity; and contributions by nominee to aid community-oriented projects.

Great Lakes Truck Driving School became... Read More