WCU Small Business and Technology Development Center helps client acquire loan to facilitate expansion and job creation

The Chalet Inn stands below the summit of a rugged mountainside glowing with autumn color. A striking piece of German architecture, this bed and breakfast is a retreat that matches its alpine setting. Only this chalet is not nestled in the Bavarian Alps, but in the Great Smoky Mountains overlooking the Western North Carolina town of Dillsboro.

Despite the tough economic times, The Chalet Inn is thriving. With the help of Western Carolina University’s Small Business and Technology Development Center, the inn was able to acquire a loan sufficient to double its size from Macon Bank and Self-Help Credit Union. This loan was backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration through its 504 Loan Program.

With the funds, five new luxury units are under construction, featuring whirlpool tubs for two, fireplaces, steam showers with seats for two and private balconies with mountain views. Construction is by Western Builders of Dillsboro using local sub-contractors and suppliers. The new units are expected to open in January of 2010 creating three new jobs.

“Without the help of the SBTDC, we never would have received this loan,” said inn co-owner George Ware. “The SBTDC’s Wendy Cagle helped us translate our vision for the business into a plan for growth.”

The SBTDC, a service of WCU’s College of Business, provides comprehensive support to business owners, entrepreneurs and those engaged in economic development in 14 counties of North Carolina. For more information about the SBTDC, call (828) 251-6025 or contact Wendy R. Cagle, SBTDC regional director, by phone at (828) 227-3441 or by e-mail at wcagle@sbtdc.org.