A new opportunity Featured

9:59am EDT July 22, 2002

After working with thoroughbred race horses for 24 years, Dr. Richard Nelson says he was suffering burn out.

Nelson, a veterinarian, realized he needed a change and took out a U.S. Small Business Administration-backed loan for $468,000 to start a veterinary hospital.

The doctor used the SBA 504 loan program, designed for purchasing land and constructing or buying facilities, after his banker from Heartland Bank of Grove City suggested it. Approval took about three months and construction of his hospital on Norton Road in Columbus lasted roughly nine months.

Nelson now runs a small animal veterinary practice in which surgeries and vaccinations are done. Although he still works on horses at the race track, he has six employees and another doctor working with him at the hospital.

Before building the hospital, Nelson did most of his work out of his home and carried everything he needed on his truck. Building the hospital has helped centralize his business and achieve his goals, he says.

"It's allowed me to enlarge and diversify the practice," he says.

And steady growth has followed.

SBA lending activity in Central Ohio

Sophisticated Systems Inc., Columbus: $826,450

Huffman's Tremont Market Inc., Upper Arlington: $475,000

Norton Road Veterinary Hospital, Columbus: $468,000

Worthington Woods Animal Care, Worthington: $492,700

State Farm Insurance, Grove City: $350,000

Source: U.S. Small Business Administration Columbus District Office