Pioneering Architectural Firm Grows into a New Space by Means of an SBA-Backed Loan

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Robert P. Madison opened an office for the practice of architecture in Cleveland, Ohio on July 17, 1954.  A successful SBA 8(a) graduate, his was the first African American owned architecture firm in the State of Ohio and only the tenth in the United States.  In March 2016, Sandra Madison, AIA, a member of the founder’s family, became majority owner and the firm's new CEO & Chairperson.  Under her leadership growth led to the company needing larger space, but it needed financing to make a move.

Sandra Madison turned to the SBA for help in securing new space: in 2018 the company received a 7(a) loan ($305,000 Express through Huntington) for the build-out of new quarters.  In 2020, the firm also made successful use of an SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.  The company was named District Minority-Owned Small Business for 2018, due to its growth.  Today the firm is the largest black female owned architecture firm in the State of Ohio.

The firm has continuously been involved with major projects including the Cleveland Public Library, the Downtown Hilton Hotel, Cleveland Jack (Horseshoe) Casino, Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center, GCRTA Euclid Corridor Health Line, Cleveland Museum of Art, Upper Chester Housing, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Quicken Loans Arena, Cleveland Browns Stadium, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, Great Lakes Science Center, and many more. 

This article does not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.