Seedcopa borrower Jimmy Olang, owner of The Brothers That Just Do Gutters-Lehigh Valley, in Allentown, has been named the Eastern Pennsylvania Small Business Person of the Year 2023 by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Olang was nominated by Seedcopa Vice President Marie Shires, who joined him and his family at the SBA award presentation on May 2, 2023 at Olang’s business location on 1302 North 18th Street in Allentown.
Jimmy’s American Dream
“Jimmy embodies the American dream,” Shires said. “He was born in a remote village in Kenya and raised in extreme poverty. He always said that if he made it to the U.S., he would work hard. With his dedication and perseverance, his franchise grew from a single employee and truck to a staff of 24, a fleet of eight trucks and over $3.9 million in annual revenue in just seven years. Jimmy’s inspirational story recognizes the rewards of perseverance and determination.”
Jimmy grew up in Kenya with his grandparents. At twelve, he met Ken Parsons, owner of The Brothers That Just Do Gutters, on a missionary trip in Nairobi. Ken told Jimmy that if he ever decided to come to the U.S., there would be a job for him. After waiting a decade for a visa, Jimmy arrived in the U.S. Starting as a gutter installer, he put himself through college and worked his way up to head installer, then became one of the company’s first franchisees in 2015 with his own client-oriented contractor service business performing gutter cleaning, repair and gutter guard installation. The Brothers That Just Do Gutters Lehigh Valley has 24 employees.
Jimmy’s SBA 504 Loan
Jimmy was first introduced to Seedcopa by lending partner Harleysville Bank. Working with both entities, Jimmy utilized SBA’s 504 Loan Program in 2021 to purchase his 7,000 square foot property with a low 10% down payment. The 100% owner occupied office and warehouse space also has additional outdoor areas for much needed parking of their fleet of service trucks. The SBA 504 loan allowed The Brothers That Just Do Gutters Lehigh Valley to lock in the SBA portion of the financing with a low 25-year fixed rate and take advantage of Economic Aid Act fee waivers and Section 1112 covered payments.
“It’s a privilege to recognize the achievements of small business owners such as Jimmy Olang,” said Steve Dixel, SBA Eastern Pennsylvania Director. “America is world-renowned for its entrepreneurial business spirit. Jimmy had the courage to leave his home country and the drive and determination to start a new life and an entrepreneurship journey in the United States. SBA and our Certified Development Company, Seedcopa, are proud to play a role in helping Jimmy and The Brothers That Just Do Gutters Lehigh Valley positively impact the Lehigh Valley economy.”
In Jimmy’s Words
Olang said, “The American Dream is alive and well. With hard work and belief in yourself you can accomplish anything. It’s an honor to be named SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania Small Business Person of the Year. I am grateful for the SBA pandemic loan programs that kept my employees on payroll and to Seedcopa’s financing that provided me the opportunity to expand my business.”
Featured in Entrepreneur Magazine as “the man who climbed the ladder by sticking with gutters,” Jimmy Olang knows all too well what it’s like to receive support from your community to achieve success. The Brothers That Just Do Gutters Lehigh Valley supports more than a dozen community events and charities. Jimmy is also active in his local church, First Baptist Church of Allentown, where he serves on the Local Outreach Committee and supports local and international missionaries.
SBA’s Eastern Pennsylvania Small Business Person of the Year award winner is selected from among nominees located across the 40 counties of eastern Pennsylvania. During National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration recognizes and awards outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from around the country. Additionally, recognition and educational events are held throughout the month of May. Learn more about National Small Business Week at www.sba.gov/NSBW.