LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) -

An area business is celebrating its success by paying off a loan from the city, 5 years earlier than expected.

When Authenticom started its business in La Crosse about 12 years ago, it was just a small start-up with only a handful of employees.

To be successful, the owner knew he needed help. He took out a small business loan from the city through the Community Development Block Grant program.

Within years, the company grew to more than 100 employees.

"We would have loved to pay it off in a year, but at this point in time even though the rates and terms are very, very favorable, we wanted to give the money back so that other organizations could have an opportunity to benefit from this great program," said Authenticom President Steve Cottrell.

Cottrell founded the company back in 2002.