As a chef, Jason Capps has always used the finest ingredients. As a businessman, why would he do anything less? When Jason decided to add a banquet hall to his catering operation, he traveled the Italian countryside for inspiration. He brought back visions of wrought iron, stone fireplaces and archways, winding stairs, painted ceilings … and big loans.
Enterprise Bank, the Small Business Administration, and the Washington County Council on Economic Development were happy to lend. But as Bella Sera took shape, Jason ran low on collateral. Dave Miller of Enterprise Bank, as well as advisors at the University of Pittsburgh Small Business Development Center, recommended The Progress Fund, which looked at Jason’s track record and prospects and made two loans totaling $490,000.
The only top-flight banquet hall in the area, Bella Sera is attracting wedding and conference business, which means more bookings for local hotels. Jason’s payroll is rising from around 40 to 60, and he’s making bigger orders from local growers. As usual, having the right mix of ideas and resources is paying off. “Popular opinion thus far,” Jason says, “has been overwhelming: ‘This place is unbelievably beautiful.’”View Story as PDF »