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West Virginia District Office Success Stories

West Virginia District Office Success Stories

Tina Shaw, Marion County Chamber of Commerce President; Rocco Muriale,  2015 Family-Owned Small Business of the Year; Karen Friel, SBA WV District Director

Muriale’s Restaurant in Fairmont, WV is the winner of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s West Virginia District Office 2015 Family-Owned Small Business of the Year.  Rocco Muriale, owner and second generation family member, was nominated for the award by Tina Shaw, President of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce President. 

Muriale’s Restaurant is a full service Italian restaurant located off of I-79 in Marion County, and has served the tri-state area since 1969. The restaurant was started by brothers Frank and Sam Muriale, their wives, grandparents, and numerous family members. 

When the restaurant first opened, it seated 32 guests and was known for its Italian specialties. Today, after receiving an SBA loan-guarantee in the 90’s, the restaurant seats 300 and offers a full on and off-site catering service and a complete menu dedicated to Italian cuisine.

“The loan we received through Wesbanco and the SBA allowed us to expand our facility and grow the business,” states Muriale. “Without SBA backing our loan, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”

Muriale’s is a staple in the community, not only as a restaurant but as an employer. The once small Italian restaurant that was started and run by family members now employs 70 to 100 local residents, including many Fairmont State University students.

You would think this is a great restaurant success story – but if you ask, Rocco will tell you he isn’t in the restaurant business – he is in the hospitality business. Muriale’s has a long standing tradition of providing excellent food along with a superior dining experience – and he credits the customer service side of the business to their success.

“I pride the success of this business on the employees who work here,” states Muriale. “I try to find skilled employees that share my customer service values.” Muriale requires a two-to-four week training program for every position in the restaurant to ensure all who dines at the restaurant have a great experience.

Rocco knows the importance of giving back to the community that so strongly supports his small business. He’s served on numerous boards and committees in Marion County. As Fairmont State alumni he supported all aspects of the university and received a letter of recommendation from President Maria C. Rose. He’s also been involved with the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, March of Dimes, Marion County Soup Opera, Marion County Humane Society, Marion County United Way, and many other community organizations and schools.

SBA’s West Virginia District Office celebrates Muriale’s award during a luncheon at the Canaan Valley State Park & Conference Center in Davis, Wednesday, May 27 at 11:30 a.m. during the 25th Annual Teaming to Win Conference. The awards luncheon is emceed by Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.  Click here for a list of the 2015 West Virginia District Small Business Week winners.

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This article does not constitute or imply an endorsement by SBA of any opinions, products or services of any private individual or entity. All of SBA’s programs and services are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. The SBA is an independent federal agency, created in 1983, to assist small businesses start, grow, and prosper. The SBA provides financial assistance by: (1) making loans to help families and businesses recover from national disasters and (2) providing loan guarantees to commercial financial institutions for working capital (7a loans),  building/land/equipment (504 loans through the Certified Development Corporations), and for exports. Through our resource partners, the SBA also offers a variety of business development program and services such as training, government contracting and export assistance. SBA resource partners include Small Business Development Centers and SCORE (Counselors to America’s Small Businesses). For information on the SBA’s programs and services contact us at 304-623-5631 or www.sba.gov/wv