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Public Works

Looking for a capital infusion? Don't ignore public funding sources in your own backyard.

This story appears in the June 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

By 1997, the former car dealership that housed Sandy and Tom Hood's commercial door and hardware distribution business was bulging at the seams. Besides being cramped, it wasn't their ideal site. "We were growing and needed a building that was conducive to business," recalls Sandy, who purchased the company with husband Tom, 49, in 1989. "And our rent was going up. I thought 'For the amount we pay, it seems silly that we can't own.'"

And so began the search for commercial property on which to build a custom facility for their less-than-$4-million firm, HC HoodCo Inc. in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania. Sandy, 49, recalls that finding a suitable location was only half the battle: "The next question was, Where were we going to get the funding?"

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