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Among the rolling hills and scenic views of Hillsborough, North Carolina, you will soon find a new wedding venue called Carolina Grove. This modern wedding venue highlights the natural beauty of North Carolina while incorporating modern touches as a nod to the owner’s California roots. Featuring a 6,000 square foot barn, the venue will have the ability to hold roughly 250 people and will include a bride and groom quarters, a catering kitchen, basement lounge and a large porch that opens into the beautiful wooded area.

Carolina Grove owner, Melissa O’Hara, grew up in Southern California, receiving her undergraduate degree from San Diego State and graduate degree in Business Administration from UC Irvine. Twelve years ago, Melissa and her husband decided to move cross country to Raleigh, North Carolina. It was here that she gained business and marketing experience in the wedding industry by working for a wedding design company. Eventually, Melissa and her husband decided they wanted something of their own, which led them to their business dream of owning a wedding venue.

After working with another bank for the land purchase, they ran into complications when seeking additional financing for construction of the venue. Through a referral from their broker, Melissa was introduced to Business Development Officer Michael Byers. He reviewed their business plan and put together an SBA loan package that worked for their specific needs.

Melissa had this to say about her experience working with Michael Byers and First National Bank Small Business Finance:

“Michael Byers was great to work with! He truly understands the needs of a small business and was there to service us in any way we needed. He explained the SBA loan process clearly and helped us through the entire process. We felt that FNB offered a flexibility other banks couldn’t. I would recommend everyone I worked with at FNB and appreciate all they did to help us receive the financing we needed!”

Carolina Grove is scheduled to break ground on construction in September 2019. We are very excited to see where the future takes Melissa and we wish her the very best!