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Loan opportunities abound Featured

9:43am EDT July 22, 2002

Health care has always played a large role in our economy, and as the nation’s 78 million baby boomers move into their 50s and beyond, the health care industry is full of opportunities for small business owners.

Central Ohio’s only nonprofit small business lender, Columbus Countywide Development Corporation (CCDC), the area’s largest SBA lender, offers several financing solutions to help small business owners with growing companies.

With a Small Business Administration 504 loan through CCDC, Michael Bourland, founder of HealthServ Inc., Columbus, bought a building for his growing medical administrative service company with a 10 percent down payment. The company, which provides administrative services for physician groups and mid-sized hospitals, had outgrown its space and worked with Fifth Third Bank to secure its loan.

Through the SBA 504 loan program, healthy, growing small businesses can get financing for land, buildings, machinery or equipment. The loans typically require a 10 percent down payment, with a local bank financing 50 percent of the loan and CCDC financing the remaining 40 percent.

The Ohio 166 loan program also requires a 10 percent down payment. Health Care Logistics of Circleville used its Ohio 166 loan to help purchase and renovate a former Coca-Cola bottling operation warehouse and office. Gary and Connie Sharpe, owners of the supplier of specialty medical products for the health care industry, worked with Park National Bank to buy warehousing equipment and the actual space.

As with the SBA 504 loan, the Ohio 166 Loan Program requires local bank participation. CCDC uses state dollars to finance the remaining 40 percent of the loan focusing primarily on helping manufacturing businesses grow by financing land, buildings, machinery and equipment.

Another option for qualifying business owners is the SBA’s Pre-Qualified Loan Program. CCDC helps businesses acquire a loan guarantee from the SBA and owners can use this guarantee to obtain a traditional bank loan. This program targets rural, women-, minority- and veteran-owned businesses and exporters, and helps businesses that lack collateral or a lengthy credit history finance a loan with terms and rates that work for them. Owners put up a 10 to 30 percent down payment, depending on their bank’s requirements.

Additional financing programs through CCDC include its MicroLoan and Child Day Care MicroLoan programs. CCDC also manages the Columbus Growth Fund, a loan program for businesses in Columbus looking for working capital to expand.

CCDC also offers seminars on business plan development and holds ongoing business management classes for MicroLoan borrowers and other interested small business owners.

Since 1981, CCDC has helped more than 1,100 small businesses obtain financing and 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 CCDC’s loan programs, call (614) 645-6171 in Franklin County, toll free at (888) 756-2232 or visit its Web site at www.ccdcorp.org.

Brad Shimp is acting director of Columbus Countywide Development Corporation.