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Success Stories

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U.S. Small Business Administration mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho and SBA Philadelphia District Director David Dickson were pleased to announce Irving W. McConnell, CEO of The McConnell Group (TMG) as the eastern Pennsylvania and SBA mid-Atlantic Region’s 2014 8(a) Graduate of the Year.

Irving McConnell, SBA’s 2014 Eastern Pa., mid-Atlantic 8(a) Graduate Of Year, Leads Successful Charge to Change 8(a) Program for Military Reservists

PHILADELPHIA – During the last 15 months of The McConnell Group’s 8(a) program, Chief Executive Officer Irving W. McConnell was deployed to Iraq as an Army Reserve Colonel where his experience provided a warfighter’s perspective in support of the I Marine Expeditionary Forces, 82nd Airborne, 10th Mountain Division and others in hostile and combat environments. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his efforts in mission planning and operational direction in stabilizing the Baghdad Zoo during combat operations for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Upon his return, he fought hard along with his 8(a) counselor to help change a major ruling which now will freeze the 8(a) program’s “clock” while the business owner/Reservist is deployed on military missions. SBA’s nine-year 8(a) Business Development Program helps... Read More

SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho, SBA Regional Exporter Of The Year's EcoTech Marine co-founder Patrick Clasen, nominator Cora Landis, Lehigh University SBDC and SBA Philadelphia District Director David Dickson

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Patrick L. Clasen came to SBA resource partner Lehigh University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) as a student with his partners Timothy Marks and Justin Lawyer to launch a manufacturing venture grown from their project, developed with the Lehigh University Integrated Product Development Program. The innovative VorTechTM coral reef aquarium pump design produces water flow with the pump motor outside the aquarium to reduce the need for cooling and ensure no electrical components touch the water.

Founded in 2003, EcoTech Marine manufactures and sells reef aquarium propeller pumps, LED lighting and accessories for aquariums ranging from 2.5 to 500+ gallons. EcoTech products are now supplied at hundreds of aquarium stores throughout the United States and to more than 30 countries around the world.

The company has received SBA-guaranteed loans and worked with SBA resource partner Lehigh University SBDC consultants, who... Read More

Sam Coyl, president of Netrepid, being interviewed by local ABC news affiliate (WHTM ABC27).
Sam Coyl, president of Netrepid, recognized as Eastern Pa. 2014 Veteran Small Business Person Of Year

ENOLA, Pa. – Sam Coyl, president of Netrepid, founded the Enola, Pa., company in 2004 as a team with knowledge of professional services, wireless engineering and converged communication systems. Today the professional services company, which is focused on business-class IT solutions, has grown from two employees to 12 and seen improved gross profit levels, an improved asset base and the successful attraction of investors, loans and funding from Ben Franklin Technology partners and SBA-backed Patriot Express and 7(a) loans.

“Veteran business owners and entrepreneurs like Sam Coyl make vital and important contributions to business creation and growth in the American economy,” said Dave Dickson, U.S. SBA Philadelphia district director. “Active duty and reserve service often provides veterans with important skills and leadership abilities that are directly relevant to business... Read More

 Charliene A. Magaro opened Char’s – Tracy Mansion as an American brasserie-style restaurant in 2012 in Harrisburg, Penn.’s historic Tracy Mansion.
Charliene A. Magaro, Eastern Pa. 2014 Woman-Owned Small Business Of Year, opens environment-conscious restaurant with SBA 7(a), Express and 504 loans

HARRISBURG, PA – Charliene A. Magaro opened Char’s – Tracy Mansion as an American brasserie-style restaurant in 2012 in Harrisburg, Penn.’s historic Tracy Mansion, built in 1913 with help from SBA’s lending programs. Magaro's commitment to environmental initiatives were incorporated from the start into the new restaurant, which functions on 100% wind power for electricity, and a geo-thermal system was installed for gas heat.

Char’s – Tracy Mansion received an SBA 504 loan through Pennsylvania Community Development & Finance Corp, a non-profit Certified Development Company authorized by the US Small Business Administration to provide SBA financing for small businesses as well as SBA-backed 7(a) and Express loans from MileStone Bank.

"After meeting Char in December 2010 I knew the SBA 504 loan program would be the... Read More