SBA Honors Humtown Products as ‘Legacy Business’

LEETONIA, Ohio – Since he began working at the family business at age 13, Brandon Lamoncha has received help from the Small Business Administration, sometimes in unexpected ways.

When Hurricane Ian destroyed his home in Florida in 2022, Lamoncha said he and his wife didn’t know where to turn.

“Lo and behold, who was there but the SBA Disaster Loan program to help us rebuild our home.”

Lamoncha used the story to illustrate the value and breadth of SBA programs during a ceremony in which the U.S. Small Business Administration officially acknowledged Humtown Products as an SBA Legacy Business at the company’s newly expanded manufacturing facility here.

“The SBDC has really helped to show us what the opportunities are that are out there and helped us become entrepreneurs,” Lamoncha told the crowd of about 100. “Without that Small Business Development Center I don’t know if I’d be standing here today.”

Humtown, established in 1959, is a manufacturer of 3D printed and conventional sand molds for the foundry industry. It operates Humtown Additive here and a more conventional manufacturing operation, Humtown Products, in Columbiana.

Humtown Additive is the largest provider of 3D sand printing in North America, said Brandon’s father, CEO Mark Lamoncha.

“There are so many great ideas that die because they don’t have the opportunity to get that help that’s available through the SBA,” he said.

In 2003, Humtown received a 10-year loan from the SBA, which Lamoncha said helped them to survive the Great Recession in 2008, when the company went from 220 employees to 17.

He said the SBA is helpful for small businesses, such as his, that are looking to develop emerging technologies, such as the 3D printed sand cores Humtown manufactures.

Community leaders joined state and local officials to celebrate the recognition of Humtown Products for its contributions to the local business landscape. Among those in attendance were Victor Parker, SBA Deputy Associate Administrator, SBA Cleveland District Director John Turner, and Patricia Veisz, director of the Ohio Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Youngstown State University.

The SBA’s Legacy Business designation honors small businesses that have historically benefited from SBA resources during their formative stages, Parker said. “As business owners and aspiring business owners, get to know your district office. We are your resource.”

Parker said the SBA is part of a business assistance ecosystem that includes Small Business Development Centers and traditional lending partners.

“It is that whole ecosystem that drives businesses forward,” he said.

Thursday’s event is part of a larger celebration the SBA is having in honor of its 70th anniversary. President Dwight Eisenhower formed the SBA on July 30, 1953, with the signing of the Small Business Act.

Over the course of 70 years, the SBA has played a crucial role in nurturing the growth of American entrepreneurs by providing essential support for the establishment and expansion of small businesses, Parker said.

Presently, the SBA is continuing this work by extending billions of dollars in assistance to small businesses.

The surge in applications for new business ventures underscores the importance of SBA’s work, Parker said.

Since 2021, more than 12.2 million individuals have applied to start a small business. Among these are 369,389 new business entities in Ohio.

Brandon Lamoncha said all of them could benefit from the programs offered by the SBA.

“As a small business you don’t know who to lean to. Now our first call is the SBDC.”

Pictured at top: Left to right: Brandon Lamoncha; Mark Lamoncha; Peter Fehnel, SBA Deputy District Director; John Turner, SBA District Director; Victor Parker, SBA Deputy Associate Administrator.

Copyright 2024 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.