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Kresky needed funds to expand, was funded before incentives expiredNORTH BAY -- This fiscal year, 106 SBA 7(a) and 39 SBA 504 loans have been made in the North Bay for a total of $58.5 million.

Kresky Signs of Petaluma, in business since 1953, is one borrower. Kresky is in a growth stage with a new president on the horizon and is using the funds from the loan for equipment, working capital and a strategic marketing plan.

[caption id="attachment_22755" align="alignright" width="165" caption="Cecelia Miller, incoming Kresky president"][/caption]

Cecelia Miller Brown will step in as president in late July or early August when the current president Don Coover III retires.

Both her late father and late brother ran the company previously.

“After my brother passed away in 2009, I was on the board and saw that they needed some help and stepped in to start a sales and marketing program,” Ms. Miller Brown said.

With the difficult market and the company in need of working capital and new machinery, Ms. Miller Brown looked at her loan options.

She was able to qualify for an SBA loan in excess of six figures through BaySierra Financial Inc.

It was while the fee waiver and extended guarantee were still available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. She said she would have looked into SBA regardless of the incentives, but they really helped.

“I needed a loan. The last time we purchased equipment was in 1993. It was a good incentive, and it made it affordable. The terms were very attractive, and it worked beautifully,” she said.

[caption id="attachment_22754" align="alignright" width="313" caption="Kresky provides signage for trucking companies."][/caption]

Kresky currently has 10 employees, most of whom have tenures with the company of more than 25 years.

“They are old world craftsmen,” Ms. Miller Brown said.

The original company was founded in 1900, but it was not until 1951 that Kresky began with the production of metal signs for the national market. The original manufacturing arm of the company left for southern California in 1971, leaving the sign company in Petaluma.

Kresky currently ships all across the United States and Canada. Over the years, Kresky has served several thousand companies, and currently it has 500 clients.

One thing Ms. Miller Brown wants to change is the company's footprint.

“We have not been locally focused,” she said. “Our main product was fleet graphics, decals and striping and the like.”

Kresky provided all the signage for Consolidated Freightways, PG&E vehicles and many other trucking companies.

The company does vinyl decals, paint and metal fabrication. “We cut, we press, we punch, we rivet,” she said.

The next goal is to expand into the digital printing.

“I want to provide smaller orders to local companies, from building signs to window signs.”

She was born and raised in Petaluma as was her dad, and she said she really wants to focus on local business. She said getting the SBA loan was a big deal.

“We have had to be very frugal, but thankfully with this small business loan, we are in the process of letting people know we are here,” she said.