By Jenny Giarratano
Marty Hooks could have chosen a life of leisure after working 30 years in the metal buildings industry. However, when his employer began downsizing and offered him an early retirement buyout, he decided to open his own business to create jobs for veterans and young people in his adopted hometown of St. Mary’s, Georgia.
Hooks, a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, used his buyout to fund his vision of a service company that sells, drafts and engineers pre-engineered metal buildings, opening PEMB in May 2020. While planning, he contacted University of Georgia Small Business Development Center (UGA SBDC) consultant Jennifer Lee at the UGA SBDC in Brunswick.
“I knew about the UGA SBDC program early on and reached out to Jennifer to tell her what we envisioned doing,” Hooks said.
Lee worked with Hooks to secure a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) CAPLine loan, designed to help small businesses meet short term and cyclical capital needs. Hooks previously had some loan-related issues that were exacerbated by the pandemic.