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Success Stories

After serving a more than seven-year prison sentence for bank fraud, Troy Parker would be free in a matter of days. With a red bookbag containing extra clothes and doubling as a briefcase in hand, $500, and a desire to defy the status quo, Troy set off to make his dream of successful entrepreneurship come to fruition. What started as a daily grind of passing out business cards and utilizing the public library as an office, grew into Innovative Labor and Cleaning Services—a full-service staffing company offering labor services and construction cleaning to various industries throughout the Greater Cincinnati region.

At the start of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic began dealing blow after blow to American citizens and the U.S. economy, leaving thousands of small businesses shuttered. Although Troy’s company qualified to remain open as an essential operation, work was slow due to his clients’ inability to stay open, and the company was in dire need of capital. 

For many small... Read More


U.S. Marine Corps veteran Frank Harris is a decision-maker.  Starting with his military service, in which he was assigned to military transport and artillery, Harris found his niche as a heavy equipment operator. After leaving the service, he continued working in the field, rising quickly to supervisory positions.


Harris is also a risk-taker and in 2009, he saw an opportunity to start Columbus-based small business, John Cecil Construction. Named in honor of his brother, Harris started building a reputation for quality workmanship.

SBA Resources

Working with SBA business opportunity specialists, Harris quickly became certified as an 8(a), veteran-owned and HUBZone federal contractor.


He also entered into the SBA All Small Mentor Protégé program, a joint venture initiative that allows new contractors to learn from small businesses that have had successful experience in federal procurement. Harris states that the partnership was invaluable, as... Read More


To U.S. Navy veteran Angie Beck, pets are family and should be treated with care. With three dogs, she often wished for an alternative to kenneling her pets while traveling and came up with the idea for Belpre-based small business, Boxers Bed and Biscuits.


When she proposed her idea to bankers, she was turned down again and again. She started her business, buying a small house that she converted into a business without a loan in 2011, but quickly found that she needed more capital.


SBA Resources

Frustrated, she turned to an SBA-funded business resource, Ohio University’s Small Business Development Center. Business counselors helped Angie develop a financial package, which included a business plan and budget projections for her business.


In 2017, Angie was able to secure an SBA-guaranteed loan through Huntington Bank to expand her business. In May 2018, she moved Boxers Bed and Biscuits to a large facility in downtown Belpre after... Read More

When the local Friendly's ice cream franchise closed in Ashland, Ohio, Nancy Pauly recognized an opportunity to open her own small ice cream and frozen yogurt shop, EVA's Treats.

Though she had visited a number of franchises specializing in frozen treats, Pauly decided to run her own small business so she could have more creative freedom to make business decisions.

"I wanted to be able to create a community-focused business that offered unique flavors and toppings that support and celebrate our city's small businesses," she said. To achieve that goal, Pauly partnered with local small business, Crazy Monkey Bakery, to provide granola toppings and sourced some of her other toppings from the local candy and nut shops in the downtown area.

Pauly worked with First National Bank to obtain an SBA-guaranteed loan to purchase top-of-the-line equipment to open her froyo shop in July 2013.

"The SBA's low-interest rate helped me buy the equipment that I needed to... Read More