Success Stories of MEACO helping small businesses

Red Wine and Brew

"The low interest rate was a big advantage to us."

- Sam Shah, Co-Owner Red, Wine, and Brew

Sam Shah photoSam Shah thinks big. After Sam and his partner, Dr. Chetan Patel, established Red, Wine and Brew, a unique retail, restaurant, and banquet center concept, in Chesterland and Westlake, Sam set his sights on expanding the concept to a grander scale in Mentor.

MEACO helped Sam and Chetan secure low, fixed interest rate, 20-year term SBA 504 financing to build the new facility in Mentor. Located on Old Johnnycake Road in Mentor, the 16,000 square foot facility boasts the largest retail wine and beer selection in Ohio. The building also houses a bar, restaurant and elegant banquet room.

Cleveland Plumbing Supply Company

"You can't beat the predictable, low fixed rate for 20 years."

- Bart Morvillus, Vice President, Cleveland Plumbing Supply Company

Bart Morvillus photoAfter leasing warehouse space for years, Bart Morvillus, the fourth generation owner of Cleveland Plumbing Supply, saw an opportunity to buy a new warehouse in Mentor that better met the 82-year-old firm's needs.

MEACO helped Mr. Morvillus secure a low interest, 20-year-term SBA 504 Loan to purchase and renovate a new 26,931 square foot warehouse. Cleveland Plumbing now has plenty of inventory space for growing customer demand.

Bess Industries

"I can't say enough about how MEACO helped us with the SBA Loan Process."

- Douglas Bess, President & Owner, Bess Industries

Douglas Bess photoCash is king with Douglas Bess, owner of Bess Industries. Having paid cash for virtually everything he owns, it was a big decision to borrow money so he could move his growing fabrication business to a much-needed larger facility. MEACO helped Mr. Bess secure a low interest, 20-year-term SBA 504 Loan to purchase a larger, 13,000 square foot facility. Now, he has plenty of space to expand and has two incomeproducing tenants.

Parker Precision

"MEACO made the SBA Loan Process user-friendly"

- Reeve S. J. Parker, President, Parker Precision

Reeve S. J. Parker photoWith MEACO's help, Reeve Parker was able to secure two SBA 504 loans to expand his growing precision CNC machine business. In 2008, Mr. Parker used the first loan to expand his building, more than doubling its size by adding 18,000 square feet. This allowed Parker to add manufacturing capacity and a warehouse. MEACO also helped Mr. Parker secure a second SBA 504 loan in 2012 to buy nine new CNC machines, increasing manufacturing capacity by 25% and lowering overtime costs by 50%. The new machines also allowed Parker Precision to upgrade to newer controls and technology.

Dunkin Donuts

"MEACO's service was exceptional... You don't find that kind of passion these days."

- Bobby Patel, Owner, Dunkin Donuts

Bobby Patel, Owner, Dunkin Donuts photoBobby Patel knows passion. As a teenager, he worked part time at a Dunkin Donuts while attending high school. Today, he's the owner of six Dunkin Donut stores.

MEACO helped him secure SBA 504 financing to build new Dunkin Donut stores in Mentor and Lakewood. With MEACO and the SBA he has a low interest, 20-year term which helps him preserve cash for future growth.

The Calvetta Brothers Floor Show of Mentor

"MEACO made it super easy. And nobody could touch the low interest rate."

- Steve Morano, The Calvetta Brothers Floor Show of Mentor 8653 Mentor Avenue, Mentor

Steve Morano, The Calvetta Brothers Floor Show of Mentor photoThe Calvetta Brothers Floor Show is the largest independent "mom-and-pop" flooring company in the Greater Cleveland area. As the company grew, so did the need for more warehouse space. Mr. Morano made a decision to build his own warehouse off of Heisley Road with plenty of room for future growth and room for three tenants. Now, The Floor Show collects rent instead of paying it. And there is space for a contractor showroom for its wholesale business - a new revenue source for the company.

Mr. Morano took advantage of MEACO's SBA 504 Loan Program. This program provides long-term fixed-rate financing at below-market interest rates with as little as 10% down. Virtually all for-profit small businesses with a net worth of less than $8.5 million are eligible.

North American EDM Supplies

"If you’re not talking to MEACO,
you’re missing the boat."

- Fred Wisen, North American EDM Supplies, North American EDM Supplies, 4277 Hamann Parkway, Willoughby

North American EDM Supplies photoHaving outgrown its 9,300 square foot facility, North American EDM, a leader in the distribution of consumables for Wire and Conventional EDM Machines, needed more space.

With MEACO’s help, North American EDM purchased and built out a new, 23,000 square foot facility. The larger area has allowed the company to expand warehouse and office areas as well as add an EDM Store – the only one of its kind in the area. Now, North American EDM is the largest stocking wire distributor in the Midwest. Sales are up 15%.

Mr. Wisen took advantage of MEACO’s SBA 504 Loan program. This Program provides long-term, fixed rate financing at below market interest rates with as little as 10% down. Virtually all for-profit small businesses with a net worth of less than $8.5 million are eligible.

Davitino’s Italian Restaurant

"“I am so glad that this loan was available to me."

- Ms. Tina Caniglia, Owner

Davitino’s Italian Restaurant photoWith the help of MEACO, Ms. Caniglia and her 23-year old family business were able to create a new, more customer-friendly environment. A new location near Heinen’s was secured and the build out, complete with a new lounge, was financed in part by the City of Mentor Small Business Loan Program.

Customers love the new, more open floor plan. And, a beautiful lounge was designed and built to enhance the dining experience. Ms. Caniglia used the Mentor Small Business Loan Program to help finance the addition of the bar. This Program provides “micro-loan” financing of up to $25,000 at below market interest rates and a term of 60 months

Visual Graphics

"It was smooth...
Everything went as MEACO said it would"

- Matt Whaley, President, Visual Graphics, 7969 Reynolds Road, Mentor

Visual Graphics Matt Whaley photoHaving outgrown its 1,000 square foot facility in Wickliffe, Visual Graphics, a large format sign and banner printer, desperately needed more space.

With MEACO's help, Visual Graphics purchased the former "Carpet One" property on the corner of Reynolds Road and Mentor Avenue. Now Visual Graphics has more than 8,200 square feet fulfilling present needs while allowing for future growth.

Mr. Whaley took advantage of MEACO's SBA 504 Loan program. This Program provides long-term, fixed rate financing at below market interest rates with as little as 10% down. Virtually all for-profit small businesses with a net worth of less than $8.5 million are eligible.

Runyon and Sons

"It was really simple...
I can't believe how easy the process was."

- Tom Runyon, President, Runyon and Sons Roofing, 745 Munson Road, Mentor

Tom Runyon, President, Runyon and Sons Roofing photoTom Runyon, president of Runyon and Sons Roofing, saw an opportunity to save money by moving its metal bending and forming operations in-house, instead of paying outside sub-contractors.

With MEACO's help, Runyon and Sons purchased a Computerized Metal Folder, allowing the company to form roofing flashing and architectural and ornamental sheet metal in-house. This new capability gives Runyon and Sons Roofing customers lower cost, more accurate bends, and faster turnaround. Scrap has also been reduced.

Mr. Runyon took advantage of the Mentor Small Business Loan program to help finance the new equipment purchase. This Program provides "micro-loan" financing of up to $25,000.00 at below market interest rates and a term of 60 months.

Meaco Helps Bring Pediatric Dental Practice To Mentor

Families Happy with Dentists' Convenient New Location

"We had spoken to many different banks looking for funding, and they required so much paperwork. With MEACO everything was streamlined."

- Dr. Lisa Richards, Dental Specialists of Lake County

With the help of MEACO, the Mentor Economic Assistance Corporation, Dental Specialists of Lake County has moved to 8484 Market St. Unit B in Mentor.

Drs. Lisa Richards and Andrea Miller, pediatric dentists, were outgrowing their space in Willoughby and were considering a satellite practice. They discovered that Dr. Bradley Kmentt, an orthodontist in Mentor, was building and would have a unit for lease. When they saw the location, within seconds from the Center St. exit from Route 2, they decided to relocate their offices.

"Most of our families are from Mentor, Concord and points east," Richards said. "Many of them are thrilled we are here."

Kmentt, who was financing his construction with a loan package from MEACO, was able to redesign the project, adding square footage to the building to create an office condominium. Richards and Miller purchased the second suite and equipped it with state-of-the-art sterilization equipment, digital x-rays and all new dental equipment with a $1.2 million funding package which includes a $500,000 SBA 504 Loan obtained through MEACO.

"We tailed on with what Dr. Kmentt was already doing with MEACO," Richards said. "They made it very easy for us to do an SBA loan. We had spoken to many different banks looking for funding, and they required so much paperwork. With MEACO everything was streamlined. MEACO was very specific about what was needed, and nothing was excessive. Also, Tom Thielman was happy to come to our place of business to meet with us. That makes it so much more convenient for the business owner."

"We had a really good experience with MEACO," Richards said. "We always felt they were interested in us. We truly appreciate the way the city of Mentor, along with MEACO, has welcomed us here - and we are very happy to be here!"

Meaco Gets Jones Printing A Great Rate In Record Time

New Equipment Allows for Expanded Capabilities for Printing Company

"Thanks to MEACO, the project was wrapped up in two months. Now, we are running much larger jobs than we could economically do before."

- Jim Jones, Jones Printing

When Jim Jones, owner of Eastlake's Jones Printing, met Tom Thielman from the Mentor Economic Assistance Corporation (MEACO) at last year's Lake Business Expo, he had already decided to expand his business by adding a new digital color waterless press. The equipment would enable the company to serve a niche market between digital color printing and a huge four color press that produces only very large runs. "This press does short to medium runs in full color," he said. "We knew what we wanted, and had done our research."

"We had a limited window to execute this purchase," Jones said. "MEACO was able to do the funding package, helping us with everything. They walked us through the process and helped with all the forms and paperwork. They gave us the complete rundown. I had to work with only Tom Thielman from MEACO and my accountant. After the application was sent, it came back 3 days later. I got a better loan structure and a better interest rate."

Jones' total loan package came to $259,000, with an SBA 504 Loan in the amount of $105,000.

Jones began the loan process with MEACO in late November, 2007. In January, 2008, with his new press already in place, Jones said he was already getting orders based on the company's new capabilities.

"Thanks to MEACO, the project was wrapped up in two months. Now, we are running much larger jobs than we could economically do before," he said. "These are jobs that are far more expensive on a copier. The new press helps with profitability and is also much faster than what we had before."

Holiday Inn Express & Suites -  LaMalfa

"Talk about people working with you! This was the deal maker for us."

 - Mike LaMalfa, Holiday Inn Express & Suites LaMalfa

To compete in the area’s growing hospitality business, Holiday Inn Express & Suites LaMalfa needed to expand their facilities and add a pool, but couldn't put together enough funding from conventional lenders. MEACO helped restructure the deal, lowering the amount LaMalfa borrowed from the bank, and providing 40% of the funds at a more favorable interest rate.

"Of course the numbers have to be there for any expansion you do," owner Mike LaMalfa said. "But when you are working with MEACO, it makes the bank feel more comfortable. They see that MEACO is going out on limb, too. It shortens the bank’s exposure. When you are doing a project, you have to sell it to the bank. You have one guy in your corner - the loan officer - who’s trying to sell you to his board. If he can say, 'Oh by the way, SBA and MEACO are also involved,' it’s a huge plus for him to make your project look like a good risk."

Now Holiday Inn Express & Suites LaMalfa has Mentor’s largest indoor swimming pool, 10 extended stay suites, a breakfast bar, patio, fitness center and elevator, and is better able to serve the business traveler as well as its events clients.

World Wines

"In the two short years since we moved, we've quadrupled our business and doubled our staff."

- Alan Iacafano, World Wines

MEACO’s SBA 504 Loan Program helped Mentor’s World Wines & Liquor finance a new building that more than doubles its retail space and also provides a rental income for owner Alan Iacafano.

He was a tenant in a 4,000 square foot shop in a strip center and the lease was coming up. He wanted to expand the business and also develop a retirement rental income. The old Sam’s Golf building on the corner of Little Mountain Road and Mentor Avenue, at 17,000 square feet, was just what he was looking for - but it needed a new look.

"I wanted to leave any thought of this being a golf business behind, so I had to completely redo the front," Iacafano said, "With the financing package that MEACO helped put together, I was able to purchase the building and do a facelift. Now, my store occupies 9,000 square feet and I have a tenant, currently an attorney, in another section of the building. Within six months I hope to own and operate a wine bar in the middle section. My retirement will be rentals paid from the building once the loans are paid off."

Meaco Helps Keep Business In The Family

Next Generation Takes Over Fairport Harbor Bowling Alley

"When I saw in the paper that MEACO had been involved with other deals outside of Mentor, I called them."

- Jerry Rich, Rich Lanes

Jerry Rich and his brother Brian are the third generation of their family to run the family business, Rich Lanes at 637 High Street in Fairport Harbor, a bowling alley with eight lanes, a snack bar and tavern. They purchased the business from their parents three years ago, and now wanted to buy the property on which it stands.

Through MEACO, the Mentor Economic Assistance Corporation, the brothers were able to structure a $390,000 loan package, with $136,000 coming from an SBA loan.

"In addition to the purchase, we needed to tear down a building on the property and enlarge and improve our parking lot," Jerry Rich said. "I was looking for funding. When I saw in the paper that MEACO had been involved with other deals outside of Mentor, I called them."

"MEACO was very helpful, wonderful!" Rich said. "Tom Thielman came out for an introductory meeting within a week from the time I called. He laid out all the processes we needed to go through. For the most part, the whole thing was seamless."

Rich said he began working with MEACO early in the summer in 2007, and by fall the project was complete.

"MEACO was very, very helpful," he said "We were kept informed all along the way. We always knew what needed to be done."

All Around Gymnastics Academy

"We’ve increased our enrollment, our number of employees, and our presence in the community."

- Tom Logar, All Around Gymnastics Academy

All Around Gymnastics Academy Inc., a Mentor gym that trains children in gymnastics and cheerleading, was able to more than double its space with the help of an SBA 504 loan from MEACO. "I own a gymnastics school, and after 13 years I was looking to expand," said owner Tom Logar. "I found an acre and three quarters on Pinecone Drive in Mentor, and built a new, 12,000 square foot gym. The total cost was $750,000."

"The people at MEACO were an absolute pleasure to deal with. It was just a matter of doing a couple of applications and interviews, presenting the project and business plan, a personal resume and my history with the city. Then it went to review with MEACO's committee. I only met with them a couple of times, mostly for financial statements. MEACO was excellent in helping me out with everything, the most accommodating and helpful people on the entire project. I would highly recommend that businesses go to MEACO for financing if they need that kind of loan."

Dr. Bradley Kmentt

"The city of Mentor had been very helpful in putting together this project, so since they had an SBA option, I wanted to go with it."

- Dr. Bradley Kmentt

Dr. Bradley Kmentt’s orthodontic practice had outgrown its office, and his lease was expiring. “We had to expand the practice,” he said, noting he had weighed several options before choosing to build and design a facility best suited to his patients’ needs. With the help of MEACO, he is building a 3,742 square foot office duplex at the interchange of State Route 2 and Center Street. The cost of the project is $850,000, and the finance package includes a $340,000 SBA 504 Loan provided through MEACO. He was directed to MEACO by his primary, conventional lender.

Dr. Kmentt said MEACO made applying for his loan an easy process. "I just went in and did what I was asked to do," he said. "They handled everything for me. Of course the biggest advantage was the low down payment and interest rate, but working with MEACO was advantageous, too. It only took a few weeks once I had approval from the bank."

Molinari's Restaurant

"Working With MEACO Was The Easiest Thing I've Ever Done."

- Randal Johnson, Chef & Owner

During a recent trip to Northern Italy, Molinari's Chef/Owner, Randal Johnson, was inspired by the region's gourmet stone oven-baked pizza.

With the help of MEACO, Chef Randal was able to purchase and install an authentic, stone pizza oven. Now, Molinari's offers more than 17 different gourmet pizzas. Business is up and the restaurant is able to reach a much broader clientele.

Chef Randal took advantage of MEACO's City of Mentor Loan Program to help finance part of the purchase and build out for the stone oven. The loan program is available for Mentor businesses and provides low, fixed rate financing of up to $25,000 for a five-year term.