I can identify with Taylor and Stutt, to whom Tom Richman referred in his article about Small Business Administration guaranteed loans.

Our company operates a series of personal-care homes for the elderly in south-western Pennsylvania. We have been in business since 1972, and the demand for our services is increasing annually. Since 1979 we have doubled our revenues every fiscal year.

Relying on this record, I applied for an SBA loan through my local bank in 1982. The bank turned us down because it was the first time we had sought outside financing.

The SBA ended up turning our request down because, without an appropriate category in which to put us -- in Pennsylvania our business is called a personal care boarding home, while nationally it is referred to as a board and care facility we were not a recognized business. The SBA would lend money to a nursing home, our big brother in the health-care field, and to a boardinghouse, a distant cousin of our type of service, but not to us. Somehow, according to the SBA, we were "real estate investments."

Without the assistance of the SBA, we have continued to double our service revenues annually. We ponder where we might be now had they fueled our fires two years ago.