Success Stories

SBA Lender Relations Specialist, Rick Haney and WV Fitness 24 Owner, Clint Aragona

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps small businesses at any and all stages of their lifecycle, from start to finish. However, sometimes all they need is a little assistance to get going. That is exactly the case with WV Fitness 24.

Clint Aragona, a trainer by trade, is no stranger to entrepreneurship. Aragona’s parent’s owned and operated a restaurant for 35 years in Shinnston, WV. When he showed his own interest in starting a business, his family threw their full support – and finances – behind him.

Even with the help from his family, Aragona relied on the SBA to help carry some of the weight with a guaranteed loan to make his business successful. He received three separate loan guarantees from the agency to purchase and upgrade equipment.

WV Fitness 24 opened its doors in 2003 at its current location at Big Lots Plaza in Bridgeport, WV. Aragona is now diligently working to relocate the business to the former YMCA building in Bridgeport in early... Read More

(Photo Caption) Karen Friel, DD; Natalia Olson-Urtecho, RA; Mr. and Mrs. Francisco Guerrero, Owners; Tim James, First Microloan of WV

Francisco Guerrero, owner of El Rey Restaurants in Clarksburg and Fairmont, came to America from Mexico in the mid 1980’s to have a better life for his family. He worked in the restaurant industry and decided he wanted to own his own restaurant in North-Central West Virginia.

Guerrero knew how the industry worked but had trouble securing financing to make his dream a reality. That quickly changed when a loan officer recommended he speak to Tim James, from First Microloan of West Virginia about an SBA microloan.

The U.S. Small Business Administration’s microloan program provides small loans, up to $50,000, to small business owners who may not qualify for traditional lending. The proceeds of a microloan can be used for working capital, or the purchase of furniture, fixtures, supplies, materials, and/or equipment. The program also provides training and technical assistance to micro-borrowers to help them successfully start or grow their business.

With the help of... Read More

Jeanette King, SRE and Karen Friel, WV District Director

Jeannette King, President and CEO of Strategic Resolution Experts, Inc. (SRE) in Martinsburg, WV is winner of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s West Virginia District Office 2015 Small Business Person of the Year.  King was nominated for the award by Jamye Eells, operations manager of the company. King also holds the title of SBA WV 2014 Veteran Small Business Champion.

In 2007, as a single mother and honorably discharged Navy veteran with only $10,000 in her bank account, King started her own business emphasizing her strong belief in the values of integrity, quality, and performance.

After getting her business on its feet, King entered the SBA 8(a) small business development program; a nine-year platform created to assist eligible socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in developing and growing their businesses.

SRE has received contracts from Department of Homeland Security, Transportation Safety Administration, Defense Threat Reduction... Read More

Kristen Perko, Christina Angelo, Ashley Cataldo, Karen Friel, Justin Seibert, Leland Reed, Stephanie Mahnken, Mengxing Diao, Heather Campbell

Justin Seibert, president of Direct Online Marketing (DOM) in Wheeling, West Virginia is the winner of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s West Virginia District Office 2015 Entrepreneurial Success of the Year.  Seibert was nominated for the award by Chad Remp from Wheeling Truck Center, SBA’s 2014 Exporter of the Year.

Seibert, a West Virginia native, and his pregnant wife left California with their infant daughter in 2006. Neither had work lined up, yet they decided to move to West Virginia because they felt it was the best place to raise their family. He founded DOM that same year and has been hustling ever since.

DOM is a digital marketing agency designated as a Google Partner and Bing Ads Accredited Professional Agency, and is West Virginia’s oldest and largest digital marketing agency. DOM currently has 12 employees and is prepared to add additional staff in the coming months. In the past three years, DOM’s revenue has grown over 145%.

While Seibert... Read More