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Peak performance Featured

9:39am EDT July 22, 2002

The Himalayan Mountain range between Nepal and Tibet includes the world’s highest elevation, Mount Everest, at 29,028 feet.

Climbing it is considered one of the world’s greatest challenges. For many businesses, getting their computer systems and databases to work together is almost as difficult of a challenge.

I have worked with businesses on this Herculean task for more than three decades, first at industry leaders IBM and Xerox and now at my own company, Everest Data Research Inc. Since 1988, our firm has been developing databases and computer systems for Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies.

Although our company specializes in the technical side of business, our focus is on people: our customers and employees. We realize that if a person cannot use a database or an operating system, it is not helpful. Additionally, we work to foster creativity in our employees through their workspace and their hobbies. We have musicians, artists and white-water rafters on staff. This creativity is reflected in the work we do for our customers.

Our office workspace is considered nontraditional for computer companies. It is not rows of boxy cubicles, but more open, with higher ceilings and other features. We’ve been in our new building on Dorchester Square off Schrock Road in Westerville for almost two years and have more than doubled our space.

We secured financing for our building with a Small Business Administration 504 loan through Columbus Countywide Development Corp., the area’s largest nonprofit small business lender. Columbus Countywide worked on the loan with our bankers at Delaware County Bank. We made a 10 percent down payment, a lot less than what is required with most other loans. Delaware County Bank financed 50 percent of the loan and Columbus Countywide the remaining 40 percent.

The SBA 504 loan program is designed for healthy, growing small businesses like ours that need long-term, fixed rate financing to buy real estate or construct a new building. Columbus Countywide also has several other loan programs for small businesses, with financing from $1,000 to $1 million.

Because of our new building, we were able to expand our business, offering on-site training for customers to learn more about their new systems and programs.

Our goal at Everest Data Research is to help your company climb to the top and reach the summit of success. Columbus Countywide is helping us — and many other businesses — do just that.

Since 1981, Columbus Countywide has helped more than 1,100 small businesses obtain financing and has approved more than $190 million in loans, which have created more than 11,000 jobs and stimulated more than $500 million in new investments in the 13 counties it serves.

For details on Columbus Countywide’s loan programs visit www.ccdcorp.org or call 645-6171 in Franklin County or (888) 756-2232, toll-free, from elsewhere. Margaret Fenton is president of Everest Data Research (www.everestdr.com) in Westerville.