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Jefferson Electric expands with SBA 504 loan from First Merchants Bank and Indiana Statewide CDC
Buying and renovating an industrial building for a new purpose gives Jefferson Electric of Indianapolis "four to five times" the space to do its work, says founder and owner Joel Walsman.

Walsman started the company with his wife, Kristy, in 2011. Jefferson Electric's 50 em-ployees install and service traditional electric work, wiring, solar panels, batteries and a growing customer desire for electric vehicle charging stations.

"We were exploding at the seams" says Walsman about his company's facility in the same East Washington Street block as Neidhammer Coffee Company, which his wife owns and operates.

Walsman used the U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loan program to buy an exist-ing, 4,200 square-foot building about ten minutes south at 2950 East Hanna Avenue. First Mer-chants Bank and Indiana Statewide Certified Development Corporation provided the SBA 504 loan.

Indiana Statewide CDC works with local Indiana lenders to issue SBA 504 loans to help owners of expanding or startup small businesses buy real estate, buildings and equipment. SBA 504 loans can give small business owners long-term, fixed-rate financing similar to commercial loan terms available for large companies. SBA 504 loans generally allow borrowers to pay a be-low-market down payment and repay the loan with a fixed low, long-term interest rate.

Walsman says, "The 504 loan really helped me acquire the building. The terms of the 504 loan made it possible for us to pay for the renovation ourselves."

First Merchants' Jeff Pangburn says, "This is the type of project the SBA 504 program is made for. A small company can meet big needs on credit terms it can afford."

Jefferson Electric is family owned. Walsman apprenticed with his father-in-law before starting Jefferson Electric. Walsman's father, sister and a brother-in-law are Jefferson employees. Several other families have more than one member on Jefferson's team, as well.


Indiana Statewide CDC has approved over $760 million of financing for more than 1,600 Indiana companies since 1983, creating or saving more than 30,000 jobs, and is the most prolific CDC in Indiana. These projects represent more than $1.9 billion in expansion financing for Indiana businesses.

Executive Director Jean Wojtowicz says, "SBA 504 loans help small businesses grow because borrowing companies can put as little as 10 percent down and receive a low, fixed inter-est rate for as long as 25 years. The SBA guarantees bonds sold privately to finance a portion of the loan. With the guarantee, we can offer more favorable loan rates than generally available to small businesses."

First Merchants Bank ( began in one small building in downtown Muncie in 1893. First Merchants Corporation is now the largest financial services holding company located in Central Indiana with $17.5 Billion Total Assets and 109 banking centers in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, and Illinois.

Jefferson Electric ( was founded on Jefferson Avenue and Washington Street on the same corner as Neidhammer Coffee Company, on Indy's Eastside. Jefferson Electric is family united by one common vision: To serve Indianapolis and Greater In-diana with electrical and renewable energy solutions that help the community thrive! Jefferson Electric is now located in a 4,200 square-foot building on Hanna Avenue, a few blocks east of the University of Indianapolis.

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