From the Federal Government giving us our first SBA loan, to the State of Delaware designating us as a Socially Disadvantaged Business, down to the City of Milford paying for some of our utilities, government has been a big help in building First State Manufacturing.
Our Big Chance
Back in 1998, we started First State Manufacturing in our garage with a single sewing machine. Earning a government paycheck by day, we worked nights and weekends to complete our first orders for early clients.
Before too long, we needed to expand beyond our garage. We tried borrowing money from our parents, but it wasn't enough. We needed more help than our personal resources could provide.
We reached out to government to help us build our business, and received a $20,000 guaranteed loan from the SBA. Our representative from the SBA even went with us to the bank!
"Using virtually every SBA program and resource partner available, First reached out to the state of Delaware’s resources as well." - source "From Humble Beginnings" Delaware SBA
Fortunately, government came to our rescue! This was just the first of many SBA loans that would help us at critical junctures in building our business over the years. We used this money to establish a new shop in 2,000 sq. feet of leased warehouse space.
Socially Disadvantaged Certification
Government gives incredible advantages to businesses that are owned by ethnic minorities, female, and veterans. Fortunately for us, we hit the trifecta! We spent weeks pulling together the required documentation to qualify as socially disadvantaged. Our final application was an inch thick! Government designated First State Manufacturing a socially disadvantaged business.
Recovering From A Tragedy
After 9/11, all of America was affected. We needed help, and the SBA was there for us again with an SBA Disaster Loan:
"The 9/11 tragedy brought a massive downturn in business to FSM and challenged their very existence. Once again FSM turned to SBA for assistance, with a $65,800 SBA Disaster loan they were able to maintain their business and employees until revenues returned." - SBA Small Business Resource
It's hard to imagine that we almost failed without the help of government funds.
In 2005, we again reached out to the government for help when we faced eviction from our rented facility:
“This represented a real challenge to us, because all of a sudden we were going to be homeless.”
source "In Milford, The Best and Worst of Times for Manufacturing", The News Journal
Stimulus? Yes, please!
In 2010 we needed money again! Thanks to the American Recovery Act, more commonly called "The Stimulus," First State Manufacturing was able to borrow over $300,000 to help us with long term financing concerns.
With all this help available from government, we decided to help other small businesses cash learn how use low-cost and free resources from the governement. The USDA funded our Feasibility Study for a Small Business Accelerator, which laid the foundation for our First State Manufacturing Accelerator.
Our latest SBA Loan of $1.8 million dollars funded our move into a huge facility. We look forward to more growth and a bright future, as we haven't paid this loan back yet!
We Built It With Government
First State Manufacturing is proud of our heritage, and thankful for the help that government has given us along the way. Not to mention the current help government provides! We believe that to say otherwise would be ungrateful, hypocritical, and unpatriotic.