Success Stories

L to R: Karen Friel, SBA WVDO District Director; Chris Yura, SustainU CEO; Sharon Stratton, SBDC Business Coach

You may not expect a green-economically-sustainable t-shirt company to be based in Morgantown, West Virginia, but that is exactly what you will find! SustainU, located in the heart of Mountaineer Country was founded by Chris Yura in 2009, and employees 23 local residents.

Yura, a Morgantown native, attended Notre Dame College where he played football and received degrees in Sociology and Computer Application. Yura’s passion for clothing came from his stint in New York City as a Fords Model after college. During his modeling career Yura was introduced to the manufacturing side of clothing and knew that is where his career as an entrepreneur was headed.

Yura immersed himself in the industry, taking a six month internship at a clothing manufacturing plant to learn the ins and outs. He returned to Morgantown in the late 2000’s, when the economy took a big hit, to open his small business.

“Banks were not lining up at my door to provide funding,” laughed Yura. He... Read More

L to R: Karen Friel, WV District Director; Eddie Shuck, Owner – Shuck Construction Company; Melissa

Shuck Construction Company started in 2000 with owner Eddie Shuck at the reigns. During their first years in business, they saw great success with the booming coal industry in West Virginia. Shuck contributed the early success to hard work, quality services, and excellent communication with customers.

During a casual conversation at church, Shuck was encouraged to seek out information on doing business with the federal government and was directed to SBA’s West Virginia District Office. SBA Procurement Center Representative Barbara Weaver and Business Opportunity Specialist Melissa Loder, worked with Shuck to find his best route to his goal of working with the federal government was to become a certified HUBZone company.

While waiting for his HUBZone certification, Shuck invested time and resources into learning about how to do business with the federal government. He sent employees to Weaver’s Federal Acquisition Management class and took advantage of networking... Read More

Cupcakerie

Janet Williams and Anna Carrier, Morgantown, WV natives, had successful careers working in a local law firm but their passion for making and eating sweet treats led them to entrepreneurship.

Williams and Carrier were colleagues for a short time before quickly becoming friends due to their passion for cooking and baking.  Carrier was attending law school and working at the firm where Williams was a paralegal. Carrier was obtaining her JD-MBA and knew she wanted to pursue her dreams of opening a business. Their friendship took a twist and turned into a partnership when Carrier told Williams she was leaving to chase her dream and Williams pitched the idea of a cupcake shop. You can say the rest is what you would call history.

The Cupcakerie opened in January 2011, and the ladies catered and provided deliveries until their storefront could open on Willey Street in September 2011. During this time they received counseling from SBA’s resource partner, the Small Business... Read More

Picture Of: Karen Myers Braun, Branch Center Manager – WesBanco; Robert L. Greer, Bridgeport Mayor; Milda Oliverio, Owner: Karen Friel, SBA District Director; Luann Bush, Vice President – WesBanco

Milda Oliverio has spent the past 39 years brightening the days of Bridgeport residents with her lovely flower arrangements. Oliverio’s Florist received their first SBA guaranteed loan through Bridgeport Bank over 35 years ago, which they used to purchase the infamous pink building where they are currently housed. A year later they received another SBA guaranteed loan through WesBanco, which had taken over Bridgeport Bank, to put an addition on the top of that building.

Since then Oliverio’s has thrived while providing beautiful bouquets to the community. During a “Be Sweet on Small Business” tour SBA’s West Virginia District Director, Karen Friel received the opportunity to hear how the loan made over three decades ago changed the community and life of Oliverio.

“It’s amazing to see the progression of what a lender taking a chance on a small business and a SBA loan-guarantee can do for a community,” states Friel. “Milda had a dream to own a flower shop in Bridgeport... Read More

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