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'Meet the Lenders' mixer planned in Connellsville

| Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, 7:30 p.m.

Looking to start or expand a business?

“Meet the Lenders,” a unique forum being presented by the Small Business Administration from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Connellsville Community Center, may be what is needed.

The program is serving as the annual fall mixer of Downtown Connellsville and is held in partnership with the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority.

Joseph Eori, president of Big's Sanitation Inc., reportedly utilized the SBA guaranteed loan program to finance new trucks and climb to the top of the heap in the sanitation business.

Eori, along with representatives from local financial and economic development organizations, will participate in this free forum at which attendees will learn: How to work with lenders; business plan preparation assistance; commercial equipment and real estate acquisition; funding the hospitality and tourism industries; and how to choose the correct loan program to meet their financing needs.

“The Downtown Connellsville Steering Committee is pleased to be able to partner with the Small Business Administration and the Connellsville Redevelopment Authority to offer this opportunity for local entrepreneurs to meet with small business lenders,” said Michael Edwards, executive director of the redevelopment authority and president of the Fayette County Cultural Trust/Downtown Connellsville.

“For the past four years, Downtown Connellsville has been making progress toward creating a vibrant business district. Business classes, facade improvements, festivals and beautification projects have been some of the activities undertaken by the committee,” he said. “This fall mixer is another in a series of opportunities that we are offering to the community at large.

“We invite business owners and potential owners to come out and listen to the panel that has been put together and then meet with the various banks that have been invited to attend,” he added.

Attendees will learn about financing opportunities.

Guest speakers will include Melanie Ansell, an independent contractor consulting for Seton Hill University's E-Magnify program, on “Getting the Bank to Say Yes”; Eori on “Inking The Deal”; and David D. Miller, senior vice president and relationship manager for Enterprise Bank, on “Financing Options to Acquire and Improve Commercial Real Estate, and Capital Equipment.”

Also scheduled are Rebecca L. MacBlane, executive director of Regional Development Funding Corp., on “Funding Hospitality and Tourism”; David A. Kahley, president and CEO of The Progress Fund, on “Covering Your Needs from a Few Thousand to $100,000”; Ed Molchan, business development specialist of the Fay-Penn Economic Development Council; and April Cacia, loan officer with the Washington County Council on Economic Development.

The program, moderated by SBA lending relations specialist Stephen Drozda, will be held on the second floor of the Porter Theater. Registration begins at 5 p.m. Seating is limited. There is plenty of free parking.

Reserve your space by calling Edwards at 724-626-1645 or emailing jmedwards@zoominternet.net.

The theater is in the Connellsville Community Center, 201 E. Fairview Ave., Connellsville. Refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP by Monday.

Nancy Henry is a contributing writer.

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