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Success Stories

SBA Helps Family Business Survive and Thrive

In 2001 Lance and Angela Ulen, owners of Hooper Memorial Home, wanted to move their nearly century-old, family-owned business. They found a new location, but knew the financing process would be a challenge. The Ulen’s turned to the programs and services provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to prepare a business plan, secure a loan and expand their business.

The story of Hooper Memorial Home begins with Walter J. Hooper, Sr. In the early 1900s he began his funeral care career and founded Hooper Memorial Home on Forster Street. His wife Alice, his strongest supporter, was one of the Harrisburg’s first African-American teachers. Hooper’s daughter, Millicent Price Hooper, was interested in a music career and attended Temple University.

After her father’s untimely death, Millicent decided to take over the family business and attended embalming school. In 1941, she became the youngest person to pass the State Board of Funeral Directors... Read More

Craig T. Williams takes pride in knowing that he has built a successful business in the construction industry. As the President of Pride Enterprises, Inc. (PEI), a Norristown-based general contractor and construction management company, Craig ensures that projects undertaken by his firm are quality-driven. PEI is a minority-owned business that performs new construction, renovation and retrofit projects throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey.

Craig began his career in construction over 15 years ago as a roofer at Independence Hall. His ground-up knowledge and experience led to him establishing PEI and overseeing all operations including construction, personnel, marketing, finance, and the daily administration. Craig earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Syracuse University and immediately entered the construction work force.

Since its inception in 1996, PEI has engaged in many community projects including renovations to... Read More

8(a) Certified Business Benefits From Faith-based and Community Initiative Program, Receives 7(a) Loan, Surety Bond

When Jimmie Lee Perryman, Sr. founded Perryman Building and Construction Services, Inc. in 1961, his philosophy was simple: “a quality job performed by quality people always counts.” This straight-forward philosophy was the source from which his company successes would grow from generation to generation. Today, the second generation President and CEO, Angelo R. Perryman continues the successful philosophy started over forty-five years ago.

Perryman Construction is an excellent example of the many businesses that have benefited from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Faith-based and Community Initiative. Perryman utilizes the programs and services offered by The Enterprise Center in West Philadelphia, an organization that deals very closely with the Philadelphia SBA District Office. The district office in center-city Philadelphia serves 40 counties in Eastern Pennsylvania, an area with 8.3 million people and over 600,000 business enterprises.

The... Read More

Are you tired of working for someone else? Have you ever dreamed of owning your own business? In 1992, that dream came true for Kevin Rhodes, President and founder of Fragrance Manufacturing Incorporated (FMI). With the help of a loan backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), FMI is now a rapidly growing full-service contract manufacturer specializing in short-run production for the fragrance, household products, and personal care industries.

After graduating from Lafayette College, Easton, Pa., Kevin worked for Procter & Gamble for 10 years. He held a variety of management positions, including responsibility for P&G’s fragrance compounding operation. While there, Kevin attended New York University's Stern School of Business, earning a master’s degree in Business Administration in 1991. He resigned from Procter & Gamble in 1992 to start FMI.

Kevin assembled a leadership team of seasoned professionals who possess a wide range of... Read More