In early 2017, HCDC merged with Stark Board Development Finance Corporation in Canton, Ohio, and took over the organization’s SBA 504 and Ohio 166 loan portfolios. With that merger, HCDC gained an East Central Ohio Office with “boots on the ground” in the region. Former Stark loan officer, Jeff Hasapis, joined the HCDC Lending Team as Director of the new office and has been administrating new loans in the area.
In the application to the U.S. Small Business Administration for approval of the merger, HCDC made it clear that the East Central Ohio office will work to ensure the SBA 504 Program is marketed in areas of the state which have seen no 504 loan activity for years.
As part of this goal to increase loan activity in the East Central Ohio region, HCDC President David Main, Vice President Andy Young, and Jeff Hasapis held two meetings with local business banking contacts as well as local economic development folks (in Cambridge, OH and New Philadelphia) to introduce themselves and the organization and answer questions about the SBA 504 Loan Program.
A trip highlight was a stop and tour at The Freeport Press, the largest SBA 504 loan in the portfolio that HCDC assumed from Stark Development Finance Board. The Freeport Press was founded as a local newspaper in Freeport, Ohio in 1880. Today it is a a nationally-recognized leader in the print production of high-quality, short-run niche publications and catalogs.
An additional stop on the trip was the new Stark Development Board headquarters in Canton, OH, for the organization’s quarterly member meeting. HCDC is receiving referrals from Stark for SBA 504 and Ohio 166 loans, and is servicing Stark’s prior loans. Cooperation between the two entities is essential for loan program success in the East Central Ohio region.