For the past 37 years, the U.S. president has declared a Small Business Week to celebrate the accomplishments of the estimated 25 million small businesses in the United States.
These businesses collectively employ more than half of the countrys private work force, create two of every three new jobs and generate many of Americas innovations.
Columbus Countywide Development Corp. is proud to participate in Small Business Week activities, held this year from May 21 to May 27. The week culminates in an awards ceremony recognizing small businesses that have succeeded at the local, state and national levels.
This success is attributed to small business owners who are rich in ideas, but not necessarily cash. Thats where Columbus Countywide comes in, which many of these entrepreneurs turn to for financing.
Dana Bromberg, the 1998 Ohio Young Entrepreneur of the Year and president of CinemAd Media, used low-cost financing through a Small Business Administration 504 loan to purchase a building at East Town and Lester streets. The building quadrupled the companys space, allowing Bromberg to add staff, with only a 10 percent down payment. He started the business in 1991 while at The Ohio State University.
CinemAd sells and designs slide shows shown on movie theater screens. Before each feature movie presentation, a sequence of trivia questions, movie related slides and colorful ads are projected. Each question is followed by advertisements. The companys 200 customers include theaters, restaurants, retailers, professionals and other service providers.
CinemAds movie theater business includes 800 screens, representing 30 theater chains in Central, Eastern and Northern Ohio, as well as screens in Dayton, Cincinnati, Canton and Richmond, Ind.
Through the SBA 504 loan program, healthy, growing, small businesses can get financing for land, buildings, machinery or equipment. CinemAd worked with KeyBank to secure its loan. SBA 504 loans typically require a 10 percent down payment, with a local bank financing 50 percent of the total loan amount and Columbus Countywide the remaining 40 percent.
Small business owners can also use SBA 504 loans to buy property. The 1998 Ohio Minority Business Advocate of the Year, Dwight E. Smith, worked with Huntington National Bank for his SBA 504 loan to buy land and construct a building for his growing company, Sophisticated Systems Inc.
With locations in Detroit and Columbus, Sophisticated Systems provides computer consulting and sales to private corporations and government agencies and has expanded to two locations since its Columbus founding in 1990. This growth led to the need to move from 4,500 square feet of leased space to 10,000 square feet in its new, company-owned offices.
Columbus Countywide also offers small businesses seminars on business plan development and holds ongoing business management classes for MicroLoan borrowers and others who are interested.
Since 1981, Columbus Countywide has helped more than 1,100 small businesses obtain financing. It 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.
Small in name only, small businesses contribute greatly to our economy and our society. Take time to recognize them during Small Business Week.
For details on Columbus Countywides loan programs, visit www.ccdcorp.org or call 645-6171 in Franklin County or (888) 756-2232, toll free, from elsewhere.
Brad Shimp is acting director of Columbus Countywide Development Corp.