|The inside of the new Fun Center on Main Street of Huntington.|
Huntington Theater expands with unique loan program.
For young people in Huntington, the Star Theatre and Fun Center is a place to hang out with friends, enjoy a snack and play games or see a movie. For theater owners Percy and Janice Mounteer, the entertainment center is a commitment to maintaining a quality of life not found in many smaller communities in Utah and throughout the country.
"The Star Theatre had been on the market for 20 years and was going to be closed when we purchased it three years ago," notes Janice. "Since it was the only cinema in Emery County, and it also serves adjacent Carbon County, we believe it could be viable with creative management. Families and young people in the area have responded well. We have received strong support from our community youth council and local leaders, and we are now prepared to go the next step in expanding our business.
"Last year we added the Fun Center at the theater to provide extra games and entertainment for young people. Because of the excellent response, we are in the process of moving the center to a larger facility adjacent to the theater. In addition to showing films, our theater serves a variety of community needs including rentals for business training sessions and guest speakers. Starting in August, the Fun Center will expand its services with after school programs, using the services of a local elementary school teacher.
"We are upgrading the facilities and services we offer at the entertainment center through a unique loan arranged with the help of Gordon Holt, President of the Utah Business Lending Corporation," notes Janice.
|One of the vacant buildings in Huntington will be turned into the expansion of the Star Theater's Fun Center. Owners are hoping to have it up and running by the end of August.|
Holt's organization acts as a lending intermediary for the Rural Development office of the United States Department of Agriculture. Utah Business Lending Corporation loans for business acquisitions and construction or modernization and for the purchase of equipment and supplies. They also provide working capital for entrepreneurs.
"Our lending organization is uniquely positioned to strengthen the business environment in small communities throughout the state," says Holt. "Loan applicants should demonstrate an ability to save jobs or create employment and community development opportunities in the county. The Mounteers' business plan for the Star Theatre and Fun Center clearly meets these criteria.
"We basically serve Utah counties outside the Ogden to Spanish Fork corridor, and we do not make loans in cities that exceed 25,000 population. Potential borrowers need to have a viable business plan, and they must also demonstrate an inability to secure financing elsewhere at reasonable rates and terms," adds Holt.
Marketing of Utah Business Lending Corporation programs is through the Department of Agriculture, Small Business Development Centers, The SBA Score program, and The Governors Office of Economic Development.