PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Marty Gareau retired from his position as executive director of Small Business Capital Corp. of Ohio on April 30, following a six-year tenure growing the Community Development Corporation (CDC) into a leading SBA 504 loan program administrator in Northeast Ohio. The 504 program is SBA’s economic development flagship and includes a job creation component that has made a measurable impact on new jobs in the region.
Randy Horst assumed the role of executive director on May 1. As a commercial lender, he has worked with three local CDCs to help small businesses grow and expand through the SBA 504 loan program, and other state loans. Most recently, Horst served as an underwriter at PNC Bank, approving commercial borrowing relationships. Prior to that, his role at PNC involved risk assessment, reviewing bank-approved SBA loans. Horst has served on the board of MEACO for 20 years, and discussions are taking place regarding MEACO merging with Small Business Capital Corp (SBCC).
Allen Weaver, president of the SBCC board of directors and vice president of commercial lending at Erie Bank, says, “We feel blessed we were able to find Randy, with the background and experience he has not only in commercial banking but on the SBA side as well. It’s going to bring a lot of in-depth knowledge to the organization and he’ll be a leader going forward, helping us grow this program.”
Horst says, “I have been impressed with how Marty grew the SBA 504 loan program while he was executive director, and he’s someone I’ve always admired for doing a great job for business owners.”
Horst has earned the respect of SBCC’s nine-member board over the years, Gareau says.“We are very excited to select Randy—our board knows he will do great things, and they are going to set the bar high,” he says, attributing the CDC’s success in part to a board that is in tune with how the SBA 504 loan program can help small businesses.
Since SBCC’s founding, the organization is responsible for helping create about 3,000 jobs in the region, Gareau says. During Gareau’s six-year tenure, SBCC has supported about 60 different companies, and following a rebranding a few years ago, the organization has expanded its reach beyond Lake County to neighboring Northeast Ohio counties, Gareau says.
“The job creation component to our loans is key for workforce development,” Gareau says of the direct impact on jobs. Meanwhile, the SBA 504 program gives small business owners a vehicle to achieve goals, such as buying a building or expanding operations.“We find a lot of satisfaction, and always have, in helping small business people realize their dreams, and this program really affords them opportunities,” Gareau says.
Prior to joining SBCC, Gareau had served two other CDCs for 14 years. He started his career at East Ohio Gas Company, where he worked for 22 years, beginning in their economic development department.“I always had a good feeling when I could do things in the community and help businesses grow through the economic development incentives we can bring to the table,” he says, drawing a parallel to this first position and how his career evolved into the CDC sector.
Weaver says, “During the time Marty has been on board with us, he has been a great asset. He brought an SBA background and CDC experience, and he has helped take this organization to the next level and help us grow the SBA 504 program.”
Gareau jokes that retirement will bring him a summer off—and then he’ll “set the compass in a different direction and see what else I might do.”
Horst is looking forward to continuing SBCC’s footprint and impact on small business owners’ success in Northeast Ohio.“It’s a wonderful opportunity and I know there will be big shoes to fill, but it will be challenging and exhilarating to build on his and the SBCC’s legacy of serving the small business community in Northeast Ohio.”