Cascade Capital Corp.’s 17th annual Business Growth Awards Program

Congratulations to the 52 Cascade Capital Corp. Business Growth Award winners for 2011

It is with great pleasure that I would like to congratulate the 52 Cascade Capital Corp. Business Growth Award winners for 2011. These companies are located within Summit, Medina, Portage, Wayne, Stark and Ashland counties in Northeastern Ohio.

Based on the both Business Growth Awards criteria and the challenges facing small companies in today’s business environment, this is quite an accomplishment. A company may earn a Business Growth Award by either increasing its sales level or increasing its employee base over the course of the last five years.

The importance of this company growth measures far beyond the actual sales or employee figures. From an economic development perspective, by increasing local company sales to other parts of the state, across the nation and even internationally, our local/regional economy is enriched. Receipts and profits generated by growing area companies are positively manifested when these companies purchase local goods and services, invest in new operating facilities & equipment and hire new employees. These wealth-creating mechanisms directly lead to the economic vitality of our regional economy.

The goal of Cascade Capital Corp. is to provide meaningful financing assistance to small and medium-sized companies poised to grow through investment in new operating facilities, equipment and human resources. Over the course of the past five years, Cascade Capital has approved financing for more than 150 local/regional company projects totaling in excess of $100 million through its core SBA 504 and Ohio 166 loan programs. The collective completion of these projects was expected to result in the creation of nearly 1,000 new jobs for our region.

Last month’s SBA 504 Loan Program interest rates marked program lows. The 20-year fixed rate was only 4.7 percent and the 10-year fixed rate was only 3.77 percent. The SBA 504 remains a very versatile financing tool for small and medium-sized companies purchasing new or larger operating facilities. Combined with traditional bank financing, the SBA 504 offers up to 90 percent financing for a building purchase. With commercial real estate values at/near historically low levels, now is the time to consider the SBA 504 Loan Program to assist in financing a new or larger building. SBA 504 loans range from $50,000 to $5.5 million.

Cascade Capital’s Ohio 166 Loan Program continues to offer the best interest rate “bargain” available — 3 percent fixed on a five-year loan. Cascade Capital currently has a surplus of Ohio 166 loan funds available and has recently reduced its one-time loan processing fee. Add to that the abolishment of the prevailing wage requirement on project labor and the Ohio 166 Loan Program is now more attractive than ever.

A number of 2011 Business Growth Award winners have received funding from Cascade Capital through its SBA 504 and Ohio 166 loan programs.

Again, congratulations to all the 2011 Cascade Capital Corp. Business Growth Award winners on a job well done and thank you for your continuing role in revitalizing our local and regional economy through your sustained growth and investment.

For a complete list of winners, see The honor roll.

Robert Filipiak is executive director of Cascade Capital Corp., an economic development finance company that has provided dependable financing options to growing small companies in Greater Akron and Northeast Ohio since 1983. Reach him at (330) 379-3160 or [email protected]

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