Success Stories

Spa Massage on the Go staff Showcase Services at an Event

Jessica Dragan, a Wisconsin native, joined the U.S. Army as a logistics and transportation specialist and spent four years traveling the globe with tours in South Korea, Texas, and Kuwait during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She knew when she left the service that she would take a different path. She spent two years in Los Angeles studying as many styles of massage as she could learn. She gained experience working at one of the Los Angeles area’s most respected spas, Burke Williams.

In 2009, she felt a pull back to Wisconsin and family, and returned to the Milwaukee area. She started her business, Spa Massage on the Go, working with people in their homes. Unlike many massage therapists, she felt more comfortable working with clients in their own environments rather than in a salon or other setting. Soon she began hiring other massage therapists on contract when she needed extra help. Within a year, Spa Massage on the Go needed more help on a regular basis. She expanded her... Read More

Freshour Precision Welding's Saw Area Before and After Renovation

After years of working for others and having a hobby race car and welding shop on the side, Willie Freshour realized that he wasn’t getting paid enough as a welder or making the most of his high energy and many skills. When Willie’s foreman at his last job suggested he quit and start his own business, he took the leap. Freshour Precision Welding and Fabrication opened in 2011 in New London, Wisconsin.

Willie used his hobby shop as the base for the business and, thanks to his excellent reputation, he started with a handful of his shop customers. One of his first jobs was making high-end precision bicycle parts. He also traveled to do welding at his clients’ homes and other companies. Within a few years, Freshour had grown sufficiently for him to find a dedicated facility, all with no external financing. He and his fiancee bought a farmette with a 45-year-old machine shed and began to renovate it, updating the roof and installing doors, electric, insulation, heat, indoor/... Read More

Crystal Finishing Systems Mosinee Facility purchased with 504  loan

Mark Matthiae, founder and CEO of Crystal Finishing Systems, is a serial entrepreneur.  After founding and growing several auto and body shop businesses in the 1970s and 1980s, he and his wife Laurie started Crystal Finishing Systems as a part-time enterprise in 1993 with a staff of three and one client.  The business grew quickly.  By 1996, they had established a headquarters in Schofield and had 22 employees involved in production of coatings for metal and plastic products, and by 1999 they were operating 3 shifts around the clock with about 85 employees.

Matthiae has used SBA’s 504 financing several times, diversifying operations, growing facilities and increasing employment.   The funding has enabled Crystal Finishing Systems to leverage its development from a paint job shop to a full-service manufacturing, warehousing, and delivery firm with seven divisions:  aluminum extrusion and fabrication, high performance coatings, powder coating, plastics coating, E-coating, and... Read More

NW Funeral Chapel Owners J.C. Frazier (r) and Victoria Frazier (center right) with DD Ness (l) and Cong. Gwen Moore (center right)

Northwest Funeral Home was established in 1993 by Mrs. Ernestine O’Bee, Mr. William Ford, and Mr. J.C. Frazier. J.C. Frazier, who is the current Funeral Director and a corporate officer at Northwest, is a U.S. Army retired officer and has been part of the Milwaukee community for more than 20 years. He previously worked with Mrs. O’Bee at O’Bee’s Funeral Home. Mr. Frazier now works with his wife Victoria, who helps to plan and manage events at Northwest’s new Events Center. The events center was built with the financial support of SBA 7(a) loans in 2013.

The three partners established Northwest as a full-service facility dedicated to providing support for families before, during, and after the death of a loved one. They assist with more than 500 funerals each year. Their services include arranging and conducting the funeral; preparation of the deceased for burial; sale of caskets, flowers, and other needs for the service; assistance with government documents and insurance;... Read More