Good help may be hard to find, but one Columbus businessman found it thousands of miles away.
Ratmir Timashev, president and CEO of Aelita Software Group, was looking to expand his business in 1997 after registering $260,000 in sales with a highly successful network management product. But to grow the Powell-based company quickly, he wanted to hire 30 developers within three to six months. Finding few in Columbus, Timashev started looking to his homeland of Russia.
“Nationwide there is a short supply of software developers, but Central Ohio is more affected because high-tech people tend to go to New York, the Silicon Valley or Seattle looking for a better job in a bigger company,” he says. “In Russia, you have unemployment and a huge pool of people who are talented, educated and qualified, and that was the major motivating factor to move development to Russia.”
For a year, Timashev considered the undertaking. As an experiment, he assigned a few “nonstrategic” projects to Russian developers. Encouraged by their progress, he moved all development work to Russia in September 1998.
At that time, there were 10 employees in Columbus and five in Russia. By late 1998, Timashev’s Russian staff had grown to 35 and of Aelita’s five new software products released in December 1998, four were developed in Russia.
Today, the company employs 55 developers and five administrators in Russia, including two project managers who supervise software development plants in Moscow and St. Petersburg and communicate directly with Aelita’s clients in the United States. The company’s customers include U.S. and international banks, government agencies, educational institutions and major technology and telecommunications companies, including AT&T, Lucent Technologies and GTE.
In 1998, Aelita had $1.3 million in sales; Timashev projected $3.5 million in sales in 1999.
Timashev vigorously maintains that worker availability not the cost savings was key to moving his development operation overseas. While Russian developers at Aelita earn $15,000 annually compared to between $45,000 and $50,000 for the same job in Columbus, he says employees live comfortably on the salary there.
Furthermore, he says, other costs involved in using Russian developers telephone calls, Internet access and foreign taxes tend to offset any savings in salary.
“To pay a $15,000 salary will end up costing me $35,000 to $40,000 because of the taxes in Russia,” he explains.
Timashev says his company provides at least two bonuses a year to developers at product release times, worth between 50 percent and 100 percent of a worker’s monthly salary. Although he doesn’t provide his Russian staff with health and retirement benefits, he says these benefits are provided by the Russian government with a portion of the taxes he pays.
Because of the poor economic climate in Russia, employee turnover is minimal, he adds. Only a couple of workers have left his Russian work sites. Still, he says, management and communication are and will remain problems because they are done remotely.
To minimize problems, he communicates with his project managers through teleconferencing and e-mail. Hiring good managers, he adds, reduces supervisory and communication difficulties overall.
That will be increasingly important in the coming year as Timashev looks to expand his company. He wants to further Aelita’s sales and marketing presence in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle and Houston and is looking for venture capital to finance the growth.
Although the Russian connection has proven lucrative for Timashev thus far, he doesn’t recommend using the strategy without knowing Russian culture, especially its business culture.
“If you don’t know it yourself, hire someone who does,” he says.
Muntaqima Abdur-Rashid is a Columbus-based free-lance writer.
Hunting for a new home in Ohio? You may want to put a tour of the Internet at the top of your research list.
Simply pull up a search engine, type in real estate agencies and Ohio, then click, scroll and point your way to the offices and offerings of a majority of the states real estate firms.
Most of the states real estate companies have some sort of presence on the Web, says Waleed A. Muhanna, associate professor of management information systems at the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University. Another 13 percent are planning to do so within the next two years.
Muhanna, who also serves as interim director of the center for Information Technologies in Management at Fisher College, late last year released results of a telephone survey of real estate firms, conducted in collaboration with the colleges Center for Real Estate Education and Research.
He noted that the number of Ohio real estate firms with a presence on the Internet exploded in the middle of 1999. A study conducted earlier in the year showed only 50 percent had a presence on the Web, and the average age of the Ohio sites is 14 months.
The Internet is quickly becoming the place where customers first look to shop for products and services, Muhanna says. The activity of buying a home is no exception.
He cites statistics from the National Association of Realtors showing that the number of U.S. customers using the Internet to shop for homes rose from only 2 percent in 1995 to 23 percent in 1999. A recent study of home buyers in Ohio showed 73.5 percent had access to the Internet and 38.7 percent used it in some aspect of their home search.
Those Internet searches are turning into profits for real estate firms, he says.
Eighty-eight percent of those we surveyed characterized their presence on the Web as a success, Muhanna says. They found that, on average, they could attribute up to 5.2 percent of gross sales to the Web marketing channel. But when we asked what they expected that percentage to be in the year 2002, their average was 20 percent.
Ohios real estate industry, he says, clearly sees an Internet presence as a competitive necessity.
Muhannas study sought to examine how residential real estate firms in Ohio are attempting to adapt to the new medium and satisfy the growing number of Internet-savvy home buyers. The study is based on telephone interviews of 150 firms randomly selected from a database of 3,200 principal brokers in Ohio, supplied by the Ohio Association of Realtors.
Cardinal Health Inc. has named Anthony J. Rucci as its executive vice president of human resources. Rucci joins Cardinal from the University of Illinois at Chicagos College of Business Administration, where he was dean. Prior to his work at the university, Rucci held senior staff and line management positions as a corporate officer of two Fortune 100 companies, Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Baxter International.
BalletMet Columbus has elected four local business executives to its board of trustees: Janet K. Feldkamp, a partner with Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff LLP; Beth Mooney, president of Bank One, NA (Ohio); Charles D. Smith, partner with Bricker & Eckler LLP; and Gregory Weaver, lead client service partner and advisory partner for Deloitte & Touche LLP.
Gov. Bob Taft has named Ohio Department of Human Services Director Jacqui Romer-Sensky to head the newly created Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The agency, which becomes operational July 1, was created by merging the Ohio Department of Human Services with the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services to create a seamless system for providing services to people looking for jobs and employers looking for workers.
Jay B. Barney, professor of management and human resources at the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, has been appointed to the position of academic director for the colleges MBA programs. He will manage and oversee the curriculum and academic program development for the colleges MBA programs and will serve as chair of the MBA policy committee.
Barney, who holds the Bank One Chair of Excellence in Corporate Strategy, joined the Fisher College faculty in 1994. Prior to that, he taught organizational strategy and policy at Texas A&M University and UCLA. He earned his doctorate degree from Yale University.
Nana M. Jones, director of local government and community affairs for Columbia Gas of Ohio, and Mary Sue Findley, senior vice president of staff and administration at Fifth Third Bank, have been appointed as new members of the board of trustees of the Center for New Directions.
Former Mayor Gregory S. Lashutka and retired chief executive officer and chairman of Banc One Corp. John G. McCoy have received honorary doctorate degrees from The Ohio State University for their contributions to society and the business community.
The Longaberger Co. has announced several appointments in the areas of manufacturing, treasury management, accounting and strategic growth. The appointments include Jim Gimeson to vice president of manufacturing; Mary Farmer to executive director of basket operations; Rusty Deaton to vice president of treasury management; Jim Mannion to executive director of strategic growth; Julie Schmitt to controller; Sherry Pattison to director of taxation and risk management; and Angela Gilmore to director of product cost management.
Also appointed were Anne Dunlap, vice president of information services; Donna Krueger-Simmons, executive vice president of business growth; and Carol Brault, director of accounting operations, who will assume additional responsibilities. Along with Dunlaps responsibility for the companys technology leadership and operational support, she will lead the newly created area of Project Office, which will facilitate the timely progress of strategic projects. Krueger-Simmons, who oversees and leads the areas of sales, marketing and communications, will expand her management role with the addition of the Longaberger Homestead, The Place Off The Square and Dresden retail. Brault, who oversees the areas of accounts payable, accounts receivable, general ledger and payroll, has also assumed responsibility for the development and construction accounting areas.
Beth A. Savage has been appointed managing director of the Columbus office of Milwaukee-based AuditForce.
Annie Luken Hall, director of the Government Relations Group of Bank One Corp., has been re-elected to a position on the Ohio Chamber of Commerce board of directors.
Custom Coach Corp. has hired Barbara Wayman as manager of communications. In the newly created position, Wayman will oversee the companys public relations, advertising and promotion efforts.
The Ohio Tax Credit Authority has approved tax credits for three local companies. Alliance Carpet Cushion in Johnstown will receive a 55 percent tax credit for a seven-year term to expand its manufacturing operations. The $4.7 million project is expected to create 50 jobs within the first three years of operation.
Horizons Video & Film Inc. in Upper Arlington will receive a 55 percent tax credit for a six-year term to consolidate and expand operations by rehabilitating the former DeSantis mansion. The estimated $4.65 million project is expected to create 41 jobs and retain 57 jobs within the first three years of operation.
Micro Industries Corp. in Columbus will receive a 60 percent tax credit for a five-year term to expand its integrated systems products operation. The estimated $2.5 million project is expected to create 42 jobs and retain nine jobs within the first three years of operation.
Columbus-based Equity Construction has completed construction on two new medical office buildings and completed an addition to the existing Newark Surgery Center. The three single-story medical buildings consist of 44,565 square feet of office space and will house the medical facilities of several area physicians, including orthopedics and a pharmacy.
RWS Building Co. has been awarded a contract for the Grace Memorial Church of Christ Christian Unions new facility at 464 Rathmill Road. The project, which includes a multipurpose building, education wing and related site work, is scheduled for completion in May.
Two local businesses have been awarded 504 loans from the Small Business Administration. Graphics Awards of Columbus received a $675,000 loan. MEngineering Inc. of Westerville received more than $2 million in financing.
Columbus-based Custom Coach has leased motor coaches for the 2000 election to presidential contenders John McCain, Steve Forbes and George W. Bush.
Hoggys, a Columbus group of restaurants known for barbecue and homemade specialties, has broken ground on its newest site at Sancus Boulevard and Polaris Parkway. The new location is scheduled to open in March.
Mills/James Productions has produced an animated game opener video for a German pro soccer team. The team, owned by Bayer, selected Mills/James for the project after seeing a similar video the local company produced for the Columbus Crew last year.
Columbus architecture and construction firm NitschkeSampsonDietz has been selected as a 1999 Pacesetter Award winner from the National Association of Home Builders Custom Builders Committee and Custom Home Magazine.
Ohio Equities LLC has won the property management contract for Executive Jet Inc.s new 200,000-square-foot operational headquarters at Port Columbus International Airport. Ohio Equities will provide full-time management services for Executive Jets hangar and administrative offices.
Baird Communications Inc. will provide various services for several new clients, including media relations for Disney on Ice Toy Story during its Columbus engagement this month; promotion of a new fiberoptic system delivering cable TV, cable modem and telephone service to Northeastern Ohio by Conneaut Telephone Co. of Conneaut; and completion of a radio and print advertising program for the grand opening of the Columbus Speech and Hearing Centers new building at 510 E. North Broadway.
Greencrest, a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations firm, has signed Charles Penzone Inc. to its client list.
Columbus-based Moody/Nolan Ltd. has received the Award of Merit rom the National Organization of Minority Architects for its work on the Smith Brothers Hardware Building renovation. The firm worked closely in the planning and design phase with the building owner, Retail Planning Associates.
Upper Arlington-based National Church Residences has been awarded five grants totaling more than $19 million for the construction of affordable senior housing facilities in Indiana, Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The new Ohio facilities include a 49-unit building on Tussing Road for Franklin County citizens.
Technology has changed the way business is conducted. What is cutting edge one day is obsolete the next.
This is evidenced by $48 billion in computer hardware sales in the United States in 1998 alone, according to PC Data. The boom in computers and technology has led to increased financing needs for local tech firms.
Thats where Columbus Countywide Development Corp., a nonprofit small business lender, can help.
Randy Wilcox, owner of SARCOM Inc., bought a new building for his growing computer products and services company with only a 10 percent down payment by using the U.S. Small Business Administration 504 Loan Program through Columbus Countywide. The SBA 504 loan program offers financing to healthy, growing, small businesses for land, buildings, machinery or equipment.
SARCOM worked with Delaware County Bank to secure its loan. The local bank finances 50 percent of the total loan amount, the business owner contributes 10 percent and Columbus Countywide finances the remaining 40 percent.
Another option for qualifying business owners is to finance technology through the SBAs Pre-Qualified Loan Program. Columbus Countywide helps businesses acquire a loan guarantee from the SBA as an initial step in the financing process. Owners can then 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. Owners put up between 10 percent and 30 percent of the total loan amount as a down payment, depending on their banks requirements.
Columbus Countywide borrowers Kalyan Viswanathan and Forz Eledath, owners of Technology Advantage of Northwest Columbus, took advantage of this program to purchase equipment and to provide working capital for their IT computer consulting service business. They secured their pre-qualified loan through Huntington National Bank.
Other business owners face the challenge of keeping up with technological advances without going broke. As owners of Coyne Printing in Mount Vernon, Bob and Alice Coyne and their son, Kevin, used the Ohio 166 Loan Program to purchase a large die cutting press with a 10 percent down payment.
They were able to use this press, 50 percent of which was financed through Park National Bank, to expand their commercial printing and finishing business by adding a new product line. Columbus Countywide used state dollars to finance the other 40 percent of the loan.
The Ohio 166 program focuses primarily on helping manufacturing businesses grow by financing land, buildings, machinery and equipment.
Since 1981, Columbus Countywide has helped more than 600 small businesses obtain financing. It has approved more than $160 million in loans, which created more than 9,000 jobs and stimulated more than $350 million in new investments in the 13 counties Columbus Countywide serves.
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.
Mark Barbash is executive director of Columbus Countywide Development Corp.
I really enjoyed, Managers are out, by Patrick Donadio [SBN, December 1999]. I am with BH Thermal Corp. (formerly known as BriskHeat Corp.), which has been manufacturing in Columbus for 50 years.
It certainly is not business as usual when it comes to managing people; we are learning a new mindset is needed. I agree with the author in that managing by control is not practical and does not lead to ... superior performance.
Managers need to adapt to each individual employee and being a coach makes a lot of sense.
James P. Zins
BH Thermal Corp.
Its all about attitude
Just had to comment on your editorial in SBN [Sorry, we dont have that, December 1999].
Wasnt the exact idea you suggest the basis of the story that was told in a very old movie (one of my favorites, to this day), The Miracle on 34th Street, with Natalie Wood?
I do agree, though, that helping someone and sending them in the right direction, even if you cant help them [yourself], is the way to go.
I recently saw how people helped people in a similar fashion over the Internet even! When a hurricane hit Charleston, S.C., [last] year, there was a bulletin board posted by the Emergency Management Center on the Internet. Everyone was so helpful, it was incredible (my husband and I have relatives and property down there). We had information before my parents who live there did!
So, the spirit of helping and giving of yourself, is not just for Christmas; it should be a daily part of our lives, whether in business, the mall or in disaster situations. Its something both the giver and the receiver will feel good about.
City of Dublin
A losing battle
I enjoyed your article [Wheres the demand? SBN, January 2000] and, like you, I feel the Dispatch should move on. Sadly, companies like the Dispatch often feel they are bigger than life.
I support Time Warners position and, frankly, think the company has gone beyond the call of duty to get consumers to support its position. Let Channel 10 try to exist without Time Warner cable. I believe it will come cowering back after a short time without the advertising revenues. Thanks for your insight.
Earl F. Smith
area sales manager
Time to take a stand
The bad news is, I dont read much of SBN Columbus, except for your editorials. The good news is, I really like your editorials. I compliment you on the soundness of your business insights, the reasonableness of your tone, and the precision of your language.
While I have promised myself that I would write to you for some time, it is your January 2000 editorial on the ONN/Time Warner dispute that finally moved me to make good on that promise [Wheres the demand?]. Like you, I believe Time Warner has done the right thing.
Faced with such blatant blackmail, I only wonder that it took them so long to recognize what was the right thing.
Its often said that a picture is worth 1,000 words. So what are you saying to clients when they enter your lobby?
According to Stephen J. Knerly, CEO of Hahn Loeser Parks, the question is not whether you hang something on the walls of your business. Rather, its a matter of what you have and what you do with it.
At Knerlys law firm, the answer has been found in acquiring and displaying original pieces of art.
We have tried to reflect the community with something that stimulates people who work here and people who come to visit us, says Knerly, speaking about the 15-year-old collections focus on Ohio artists.
The firm has a combined collection of approximately 80 pieces in its Cleveland and Columbus offices. Retired partner and art lover Richard A. Zellner redirected the firms art budget 10 years ago, making it focused with a theme and concept.
Barb Unverferth of Art Access, a Columbus company that helps select original art for corporations and residential spaces, reports an increased trend in corporate art collections. But it does not come without some considerations, she and corporate art collectors warn. These include:
- Maintenance issues, such as where to place the artwork, whether to place it behind protective glass or roped-off areas, and how fragile a piece may be.
- Additional insurance costs.
- Who will be in the environment, although Unverferth says security is not a major issue for many firms since they are not buying at the level at which one piece would have a particularly high value.
Hahn Loeser Parks collection of contemporary pieces is purchased with a separate art budget of about $2,000 a year, which usually allows for one acquisition annually, says Kelly Blazek, director of marketing. Owned by the law firm, pieces in the collection have been purchased from artists, galleries and museums.
Artwork has been loaned to the Riffe Gallery, Cleveland Museum of Art and Cleveland Center for Contemporary Art. And each year, the company features one piece of work on its holiday greeting card.
People do take note of corporate art collections. Just ask Eydie Garlikov, principal of Garlikov Insurance Co. Shortly after she loaned a piece that had been on display in her companys lobby to an exhibit, people from elsewhere in the building stuck their heads into the receptionists area and asked its whereabouts.
I did it for us, and yet, other people noticed, says Garlikov, whose company began collecting original artwork in 1979 after moving into new office space. Rather than put money into decorations, as a reflection of our own personal interest in the arts, it was a nice way to provide a comfortable environment and expand the horizons of the people that work here.
The downtown law firm of Kegler, Brown, Hill & Ritter has similar reasons for amassing its collection of approximately 75 pieces, which includes a number of artistic mediums. No one person is responsible for selecting the artwork. Instead, all employees make suggestions for acquiring artist originals.
We wanted to try and build something that reflected the commitment of the firm to support the arts, says Kathy Cheugh, director of administration, and at the same time give people something nice to look at.
Lori Murray (Lori3204@aol.com)is a freelance writer for SBN.
Employees have come to expect medical benefits from their employers. Dental and vision plans don’t even turn their heads much anymore. Ditto for life insurance.
So how can you wow employees with these days when it comes to benefit coverage without breaking the bank? One Columbus-based utility may have an answer.
AEP started offering prepaid legal plans to its employees four years ago, says senior benefits consultant Curt Cooper.
The cost of offering this somewhat unusual benefit is minimal and it gives employees access to their choice of several prepaid attorneys, Cooper explains.
Any employee electing this benefit, administered through Hyatt Legal Plans of Cleveland, pays the full cost through a payroll deduction. Employees pay $7.95 per month for individual coverage and $16.75 for family coverage, which includes most any type of legal advice except information involving AEP employment-related questions, says Cooper, who is an attorney.
“The only real cost from the company’s standpoint is to get the administration done, which is collecting the money from the paycheck, sending it off to Hyatt and answering employee questions,” Cooper says. “There’s a low cost from a company standpoint and that was attractive to us.”
Setting it up
Before choosing Hyatt as its prepaid legal plan administrator, AEP considered several issues, Cooper says. Among them:
- What legal services are covered?
- What are the employee premiums?
- What is the company’s cost?
- How many attorneys are in the plan network?
- Are those attorneys located where employees are located?
- What is the administration process for the company and employee?
About 750 AEP employees have chosen the prepaid legal benefit and they use the wills and estate planning service most frequently about 40 percent of the time, according to usage reports AEP receives from Hyatt, Cooper says. Wills and estate planning are also the No. 1 services used by employees of other companies offering the Hyatt plan, says Marcia Messett, group sales director in Hyatt’s Cleveland headquarters.
Hyatt, a division of Metropolitan Life, has about 300 corporate customers that offer its prepaid legal plan to employees, Messett says. Other Central Ohio employers using the Hyatt plan include Distribution Fulfillment Services, Rockwell Automation and the Drake Center.
While only 4 percent of AEP employees have elected the prepaid legal plan option, Cooper says, Hyatt marketing materials show that 10 to 20 percent of employee enrollment is typical. AEP employs 17,300, about 3,500 of whom are in Franklin, Fairfield, Delaware and Licking counties.
“With AEP, you have a lot of hourly employees, linemen, people who work out in the field who maybe wouldn’t see the need for legal work,” Cooper says. “With a lot of lower paid folks, they are not real concerned with developing an estate plan or a will. That’s one possible explanation [for the low participation rate].
“Another is that in some of our more rural locations [West Virginia and Kentucky], there aren’t a lot of attorneys in Hyatt’s network. We’ve heard that as a negative.”
Approximately 8,500 attorneys are available through Hyatt’s plan nationwide, although Cooper could not say how many of those are in the greater Columbus area. An employee can choose an attorney outside the plan, he adds, but that attorney would be paid a fee based on the Hyatt fee schedule.
Attorneys on the list do change fairly regularly, Cooper says, but employees can call Hyatt’s toll free number or check its Internet site at http://www.legalplans.com for updates.
At AEP, the popularity of the wills and estate planning benefit is followed by document preparation, then real estate matters. Other ways the company’s prepaid legal plan has been used by employees include:
- Consumer protection;
- Debt issues;
- Defense of civil lawsuits;
- Family law;
- Insurance matters.
Hyatt provides yearly reports on what services within the overall plan are used; however, Cooper stresses that there is never a report showing which employees used which service.
“With a lot of legal issues, they are unpredicted and unplanned and could end up costing a lot of money,” Cooper says. “This would be a relatively low-cost way to guard against those unplanned expenses. We saw it as a fairly valuable benefit to employees and low cost to the company.”
AEP is in the process of merging with Central and South West Corporation of Dallas, which offers a pre-paid legal plan other than Hyatt’s, Cooper says. He expects that after the merger is completed, a prepaid legal plan will remain a benefit to AEP employees.
How to reach: Hyatt Legal Plans Inc., (800) 423-3000; www.legalplans.com
Andria Segedy (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a free-lance writer for SBN.
One-stop shopping has truly arrived. So much so that the ability to offer a full spectrum of products and services for business and personal use is often what sets one small business apart from the rest.
In order for small businesses to be competitive and fulfill this now-common consumer demand, they often need to expand quickly. Shige Moroi, owner of M-Corporations, knows all about that. His three affiliate companies M-Telecommunications, M-Engineering and M-Retail offered complementary services to clients, but were located in different areas of Columbus.
To make his company more of a one-stop shop, Moroi set out to buy facilities that could house all three affiliates in one area. To maintain cash flow, Moroi wanted to secure financing with a low down payment. He did it with help from his bank and the nonprofit Columbus Countywide Development Corp.
Using a U.S. Small Business Administration 504 Loan and a 10 percent down payment, Moroi purchased two adjacent buildings to consolidate M-Corporations operations in a central location. Huntington National Bank financed 50 percent of the loan, as is typical with the SBA 504 program and Columbus Countywide financed the remaining 40 percent. The SBA 504 loan program offers loans to healthy, growing small businesses for land, buildings, machinery or equipment.
Other lending programs offered by Columbus Countywide include:
- Ohio 166 loans through the Ohio Department of Development. Like SBA 504 loans, the Ohio 166 Loan Program requires a 10 percent down payment. Columbus Countywide uses state dollars to finance 40 percent of the loan, while a local bank chips in the rest. Ohio 166 loans focus primarily on helping manufacturing businesses grow by financing land, buildings, machinery and equipment.
- SBA Pre-Qualified Loans. Under this program, Columbus Countywide helps businesses acquire a loan guarantee from the SBA as an initial step in the financing process. The owners can then 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. Owners put up a down payment of between 10 percent and 30 percent, depending on their banks requirements.
- Central Ohio MicroLoans. This program offers financing for pre-bankable businesses, those that are too small or too new to secure a traditional bank loan. These loans can be used for equipment purchases and working capital such as inventory, receivables and operating funds. All borrowers must write and submit a business plan to be considered for a MicroLoan.
- The Columbus Growth Fund. This loan program is specifically designed for existing businesses in the city needing financing to expand.
Columbus Countywide also offers seminars on business plan development. It holds ongoing business management classes for MicroLoan borrowers and other interested small business owners to ensure sound fiscal management.
Since 1981, Columbus Countywide has helped more than 600 small businesses obtain financing. It has approved more than $160 million in loans, which have created more than 9,000 jobs and stimulated more than $350 million in new investments in the 13 counties it serves.
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 interim director of Columbus Countywide Development Corp.