U.S. Small Business Administration officials made a visit to the county this week to recognize Lender’s exceptional commitment to small businesses in Maine as well as highlight those small businesses.
Cory LaPlante was just a teenager when he lost his leg due to a rare form of bone cancer. Due to the lack of available care in the County, he had to travel hundreds of miles to New Hampshire to receive treatment. It was then that he promised himself he would go on to college, become a certified Prosthetist and open a practice here in Aroostook County.
“I have been fascinated with the mechanical aspect of it as well as the clinical aspect of it as well as taking care of the whole patient, so I got into it and I have never looked back really,” said LaPlante.
LaPlante opened his practice in 2007, as his only employee. In 2011 he decided to expand and moved into a new building adding 8 full-time staff members, with help from an SBA Express Loan. One of the many unique aspects here at Northern Prosthetics is that they are a full Orthotics as well as Prosthetic facility. This means they have the capability of doing everything in-house. Due to LaPlante’s successful business this past year, SBA named LaPlante U.S Small Business Administration’s Young Entrepreneur of the Year for Maine and New England.
“He deserved this award, but more importantly he among many other businesses have helped us land over 110 million dollars within the state of Maine,” said SBA Regional Administrator Seth Goodall.
Goodall went on to say that in Aroostook County alone, businesses such as Cory’s, were able to double the amount of loans last year, and as a result of that it means more jobs. SBA made a visit to the county to celebrate the success that the banks and credit unions have had lending to small businesses, as well as highlight success stories such as LaPlante at Northern Prosthetics.
“A lot of great things are happening in Aroostook County,” said Goodall.