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Mighty Oaks Nursery opens in Sheridan with SBA 504 loan from The Farmers Bank and Indiana Statewide CDC
Mighty Oaks Nursery, a new landscaping service owned by industry veterans Leah and Tom Gwin, is open for its first full season in Sheridan.

The Gwins purchased five acres of land and built a showroom and warehouse to house their business. Mighty Oaks provides weekly lawn mowing, installs and maintains large landscaping projects and builds hardscape such as foundations, outdoor grills and patios.

A loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration 504 program helped the Gwins  buy land and build on site. The Farmers Bank and Indiana Statewide Certified Development Corporation provided the 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.

Leah Gwin says, "We have grown tremendously in the last 12 months, from two part-time employees to now having five additional guys on payroll. In addition to landscape, hardscape, and lawn care, about one-third of our business now comes from drainage projects in partnership with a home restoration company, A&D Hydra Clean."

Kendra Chastain of The Farmers Bank says, "Tom & Leah are experienced landscapers and are starting their own business for the first time.  Their experience and the opportunity for a start-up fit well with the SBA 504 program.  Their low down payment, compared to a regular commercial loan, allows them to maintain more working capital as they get the company off the ground. And the 504's low, long-term interest rate is great for helping them manage their budget through the years."

Leah Gwin says, "The SBA 504 loan helped us have the capacity to grow to satisfy a steady stream of customers, both residential and commercial."


Indiana Statewide CDC has provided more than $600 million to 1,300 Indiana companies since 1983. These dollars are part of over $1.4 billion in project financing, creating or saving more than 26,595 jobs. Indiana Statewide CDC is the most prolific CDC in Indiana.

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 interest 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. I am proud that these projects are placed throughout the state and are helping many communities build a diversified economic base."

The Farmers Bank ( is a $550 million asset organization chartered in 1876 with headquarters in Frankfort, IN.  The Farmers Bank is locally owned and operated with 10 banking offices located in Central Indiana providing retail, business, trust & asset management, investment, mortgage, and electronic banking services.

Mighty Oaks Nursery ( Mighty Oaks Nursery was founded by Tom and Leah Gwin to provide quality outdoor space solutions for residential and commercial properties. With over ten years in the industry and growing up in an agricultural family, Mighty Oaks Nursery is carrying on a family legacy of conservation and good land stewardship. Mighty Oaks specializes in hardscaping, drainage solutions landscaping, recreation land development, fertilizer and lawn care.

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