Julia Novak, President of The Novak Consulting Group, started the company in 2009 – after 16 years in local government and (then) seven in consulting for local governments. She had decided it was time for her to create a company that was focused on a mission she is passionate about – improving organizations for those they serve and those that work in them.

Novak consults with governments in the areas of public works, public safety, human resources, finance, planning, IT, and more. The company joined the HCDC Business Center program in 2013. “One of the employees didn’t like working out of his house, so he was in the library and coffee shops, but found that too distracting. So I talked to one of my partners in Maryland and she said, ‘If he was in Rockville, he could just go to the business incubator.'” That sparked Novak to do a Google search for a startup incubator in Cincinnati, and that’s when she found HCDC.

“We applied and were accepted. We had an awesome space on the 3rd floor. Then we hired more people and moved to a bigger space in the building. Then we hired even more people. We talked with Business Center Director Pat Longo about larger spaces, but we couldn’t find anything that fit our needs exactly. That’s when I saw the HCDC seminar program on the SBA 504 Loan Program for owner-occupied real estate,” explains Novak.

“Pat connected me with HCDC Loan Officer Angie Howard, and she explained how the SBA 504 program worked. I had helped my daughter buy a house that past summer and had been working with a realtor. She had a partner who did commercial real estate and she connected us. She found us the space we recently purchased, which has room to grow to about 12 people,” continues Novak.

Novak Consulting is now located at 26 E. Hollister in the Uptown area of Cincinnati. It just so happens that the Uptown Consortium is a community that has a contract with HCDC’s Economic Development Office for economic development assistance. So Novak has touched all three program areas that HCDC offers: the HCDC Business Center, the HCDC SBA 504 Loan Program, and the HCDC Economic Development Office. A true success story for both HCDC and the small business that it helped to grow.

*Note: Novak Consulting Group was HCDC’s Business Center Client of the Year Award Winner for 2015