Success Stories

Upshur County’s Atlas Supply Company owner, KJ Woody, lives vacuum mogul James Dyson’s adage, “Business is constantly changing. Business is constantly evolving.”  Woody, who has degrees in engineering and business, started his entrepreneurship career by owning a collision parts company. 

The business grew quickly and was doing well, however through the work he was doing with collision parts, he saw a need in the chemical supply industry and was ready to evolve his company to meet that need.  Woody knew this evolution would take capital to be successful.  Having a good relationship with his local bank he didn’t anticipate any issues getting additional funds to evolve his business.  He quickly found out that lending environment was changing.  His company was viewed more as a start-up instead of an established business looking to evolve.

Woody reached out to Stephen Foster, the Executive Director of the Upshur County Development Authority for advice.  Foster referred... Read More

Gabrielle Bernstein, a motivational speaker, life coach, and author, states “Allow your passion to become your purpose, and it will one day become your profession.” The U.S. Small Business Administration has helped small business owners follow their passion for the last sixty years. 

Walter Lanham, owner and operator of Bridgeport Skate World, credits the U.S. Small Business Administration for helping make his dream - his passion for skating - become his profession nearly 30 years ago.

Why did Lanham want to open a skating rink? It could be because some of his most precious memories include skating. His mom taught him how to skate in the basement of his childhood home by using the handle of an old broom, as a teenager he worked hard to have enough money to buy the skates he used for 28 years, he met his wife at a skate rink, and he drove his daughter to almost every skating rink in the Mid-Atlantic region to participate in dance skating and figure circle skating... Read More

Jeannette King is a veteran - she is also a West Virginian, a single mother, and a small business owner. In 2007, King took the unique skills, drive, and passion that she developed while serving in the Navy to open her own small business, Strategic Resolution Experts, Inc. (SRE).

SRE, located in Martinsburg West Virginia, is a technology and management consulting firm that helps customers implement business processes and tools to find efficiencies. King utilizes a large toolbox to achieve success in small business.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is one of the vital tools that King depends upon. SRE is a certified small disadvantaged 8(a) business.  The SBA 8(a) small business development program is a nine-year platform created to assist eligible socially and economically disadvantaged individuals in developing and growing their businesses.

King entered the program in 2010 and has received contracts from Department of Homeland Security, Transportation... Read More

SBA Officials Learn about Cutting Edge Microclimate Research created by a West Virginia Small Business

Did you know that the eighth longest cave in the United States, which is also the home to almost half of the world’s population of Virginia big-eared bats, is located in West Virginia? Located in Germany Valley, the cave is aptly named Hellhole. The only known entrance to the cave is a funnel-shaped pit opening on the lower slopes of the North Fork Mountain with a sign that reads “Make Peace with God.”


For nearly 10 years, Extreme Endeavors has performed microclimate research for a West Virginia company to monitor the cave and assure that nearby mining does not change the environment for hibernation.  Every two years Extreme Endeavors enters Hellhole to replace environmental monitoring sensors.


This year the Owner and President of the company, Mike Masterman, invited SBA Regional Administrator Natalia Olson and District Director Judy McCauley, to accompany the Extreme Endeavors team while they changed a sensor in a nearby cave, called Schoolhouse... Read More