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Success Stories

John Henderson and his sons

When John Henderson decided to build a laundromat business from the ground up, SBA was there to support him with a loan.  Now that the business has grown to three locations, Henderson has received two additional SBA loans to support that growth.

“All my life I’ve looked for the big idea,” Henderson, Owner of Liberty Laundry in Broken Arrow, OK said.  “What could I do that would support my family, that I would enjoy, that I could control?”

Liberty Laundry in Broken Arrow, Okla., opened for business in 2005. The idea of building a laundromat had begun nearly two years earlier. Henderson wanted to go into business for himself because he was miserable working as a customer service supervisor at a call center for a cell phone company. Two of his sons have since joined the business making it a family enterprise with 25 employees.

Henderson did not have a background in the laundry business, but he did his research and created a strong business plan. Now he shares that... Read More

Planting the Seeds of Growth Leads Lawton Company to Major Success

WasteSolutions LLC
Norris Graves
1016 NW Bell Ave
Lawton, OK 73507
9 Employees
A large white board at WasteSolutions LLC in Lawton, Oklahoma is covered completely in scribbled notes, plans and ideas detailing the future of the company, founded in 2001.
“At the end of a day I sit here and write things on the board,” Norris Graves, who founded WasteSolutions in 2001, said.  “It’s not a lot of secrets; I just set things we are going to do. That’s my way of focusing.”
While Graves keeps his detailed business plan on the computer, the whiteboard and the panoply of projects, to do lists and ideas listed on it might not have happened without resources provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), including a 7(a) loan in the midst of the economic downturn.
“It was a bad time for lending, the credit crunch,” Graves said.  “Had it not been for the 7(a) loan I would not have been able to sustain... Read More

Success Story Schatz and Lewis

Can you start a nationwide company from a small town in rural Oklahoma? You can if you follow the lead of Sherrie Schatz and Sheree Lewis, owners of Schatz Publishing Group in Blackwell, Oklahoma.

"We wouldn't have been able to do it without the SBA," said Sherrie Schatz, co-owner. "The 8(a) program has given us a chance to show what we can do."

Schatz Publishing Group started in 1991 as a publisher of agricultural magazines focusing on niche markets such as alligator farming, butterfly farming, and raising poison ivy for profit. Realizing the company had reached a plateau, they began seeking new opportunities in federal contracting. After some trial and error, they were awarded their first contract in August 2000 – a contract they still have.

"After we started working on that first contract, we realized that was the ticket," Sheree Lewis, co-owner said. "The opportunities are all there in black and white. The government states what they want, you do it and... Read More

When you own a franchise, in many ways you get the best of both worlds. You’re an independent business owner, and you have access to an established business model with a proven track record. It’s a winning combination for many, said Scott Warfel, who owns four Jersey Mike’s stores in the Oklahoma City Metro area.  He is a former area director for the sandwich store chain.

Scott opened his first store in 2004, and now has expanded to four stores with 45 employees, thanks in part to three separate loans guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration.

“The SBA loan process was very easy,” said Scott, who works with BancFirst, a SBA preferred lender.  “They shepherded me through the entire loan process.  It’s been a dream.”

Scott says he enjoys being a franchise owner.  “There are times when I’m working 70 to 80 hours a week, and there are times when I have more free time,” he said.  “I do what I have to do to stay in business.  I’m able to balance being... Read More