After being in the same office for eight years, Jack Conie and his employees were starting to get a bit cramped. When people began sharing office space, he knew it was time to move to a larger building.
Conie, CEO of Environmental Pipeliners, sought a U.S. Small Business Administration-backed loan of $900,000 to buy a building about 10,000 square feet larger.
The Dublin-based company has increased its revenues from about $600,000 when it was founded in 1990, to about $5 million in 1998. Along with financial growth came more employees, from about five at the company's start to about 35 this year. Conie says the company was losing business because it was outgrowing the building and didn't have the ability to warehouse material or equipment.
"In a way, it sort of stagnated our growth," he says.
Conie worked through Bank One to get the loan, and the paperwork was approved immediately. Then Columbus Countywide Development Corp., an agency that helps business owners obtain SBA loans, needed to give its approval. That process took about six months, Conie says.
The loan for the office-warehouse building on Eiterman Road now occupied by Conie's company will let him start putting money back into the business so it can grow. Environmental Pipeliners uses technology such as robotics and televisions to find pipe defects and make repairs without excavating.
"(The loan) enables us to maintain current growth without dipping in the cash flow for more expenses," he says.
Conie also says the people at the Columbus Countywide Development Corp. were excellent to work with in securing the loan.
"All I could envision is the bureaucratic red tape that you envision with that kind of program," Conie says. "They were easy to work with and very prompt."
SBA lending activity in Central Ohio
Listings include: Company, city and net loan amount.
Ron's Express Carwash & Lube Inc., Columbus, $1,050,000
Environmental Pipeliners, Amlin, $900,000
Adrian-Poirier Chiropractic Inc., Columbus, $890,000
Results Engineering, Westerville, $725,000
Northwest Animal Hospital, Columbus, $555,000
Bordner & Associates Inc., Gahanna, $544,000
Go Express Inc., Westerville, $460,000
Law General Contracting Inc., St. Louisville, $448,000
Checkered Flag Express Lube, Marysville, $350,000
Starting Point Daycare Center, Columbus, $348,000
Lexon Corp., Columbus, $227,700
Saia & Piatt PLL, Columbus, $185,000
Sunscapes, Columbus, $152,000
Gahanna Sunoco, Gahanna, $145,300
The Columbus Post/Empower Publishing, Columbus, $125,000
Source: U.S. Small Business Administration Columbus District Office