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Small business gets big help

Melissa Topey • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:40 PM

When she found herself without a job at age 54, Mary Magyar decided she wanted to take fate into her own hands.

So she went back to school, enrolling in the Culinary Arts program at EHOVE Career Center.

She knew she didn’t want to work for $10 in someone else’s kitchen. The idea of working for herself took root.

“They didn’t just teach cooking,” she said. “It was management, math and how do you do pricing. I realized, ‘I can do this’”

Magyar also went to Small Business Administration seminars at Terra Community College, where she met Bill Auxter, who would soon become her ally in the new venture.

Magyar came up with “Mary’s Catering to Go,” a business where she cooks the food and clients pick it up. She’s also preparing “The Railroad Depot,” an all-purpose venue where she can cater banquets, corporate functions and private events.

Magyar has plenty of ideas for events, such as Murder Mysteries and charity events.

Both businesses will be based at 111 N. Buckeye St. in Bellevue, next to the Pizza Wheel. Magyar estimates it will cost about $50,000 to start her business, and that’s with buying what she can from auctions, including kitchen equipment.

“It’s so expensive to start a business,” she said. “More than you anticipate”

With all this newfound knowledge, Magyar headed to First National Bank and the Small Business Administration with a business plan.

Her timing couldn’t be better.

The business administration guaranteed backing on a loan for her venture. Additionally, from now to Sept. 30, the business administration is waiving fees on all guaranteed loans up to $150,000.

“The normal fee would be 2 percent of the loan amount,” said Gil Goldberg, director of the Small Business Administration’s Cleveland office. “This is a significant amount they are saving”

The agency is also waiving fees on express loans for veterans. The fees are typically 3 percent of the loan amount.

By waiving the fee, the business administration aims to ensure small businesses have efficient access to critical financing.

“I don’t think small loan borrowers realize the agency is waiving its fees” Goldberg said.

While it can be scary starting a business, Magyar said she’s grateful for the help everyone has given her along the way — and for every penny she can save.

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