“Small businesses today have a variety of options when it comes to finding a lender. There are government-backed loans and loans from banks, merchant service providers and alternative lenders, which include an assortment of online lending services that don’t come with those same guarantees as those backed by the government.”
The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that it would extend 2 important fee waivers until Sept. 30, 2015. SBA will continue to waive the 2% Borrower Fee (also called upfront guaranty fees) for loans under $150,000 and for Veterans Advantage loans from $150,000 to $350,000.
SBA is also halving the rate of the upfront guaranty fee for non-SBA Express loans of $150,000 to $5 million.
The fee waivers were originally scheduled to end Sept. 30, 2014.
We are asked all the time “What defines a small business?” and “Why does it matter?”
Many would answer that small businesses are anchors of a community, creating jobs and opportunity in cities and towns across America.
According to the SBA, “The two most widely used standards to qualify a business as small are 500 employees for most manufacturing and mining industries and $7.5 million in average annual receipts for many non-manufacturing industries.”
And to the second question, only a qualifying small business is able to provide certain services to the SBA, and qualifies for certain financing programs from the SBA. These include SBA 7(a) loans, the most common and popular small business loans which are provided by traditional bank, community bank and non-bank lenders, and up to 85% of which are guaranteed by the SBA.
If you recall, we wrote about this trend 6 months ago here.
At that time, I stated the following: “Where there are concerns across the industry about particular markets that are underserved by banks, we see a real opportunity. One of our primary goals is to help provide new capital resources to small businesses owned by minorities, women tribal groups and those located in underserved geographical locations.”
BusinessUS is missioned to provide 60% of our loan volume to underserved markets.
“As a non-bank lender competing in the small business lending world, we are constantly on the lookout for information about lending opportunities for small businesses with growth opportunities,” says Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS.
“Contreras-Sweet immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 5 and went on to achieve a number of firsts, including being the first Latin American woman to serve on the board of Blue Cross California, and first to hold a cabinet secretary position in California state government. (She was California’s secretary of Business, Transportation, and Housing from 1999 to 2003.)”
And according to the Washington Post, she is very focused on underserved borrowers: “In addition, he said, she has “focused extensively on access to capital for a segment of the small business community that has more trouble getting capital than most, so she understands the pressing need for credit and capital of many small business owners.”
“The selection of Maria Contreras-Sweet to the lead the SBA is significant in many ways,” said Norris Lozano, CEO of California-based BusinessUS. “We are looking forward to strong guidance and shared mission to provide new capital resources to underserved small businesses.”
Just discovered this terrific small business story – – the independent advocacy group Independent We Stand (sponsored by decidedly non-local Chrysler Group and STIHL Inc.) has awarded its Indie Award to Trio Hardware, a 50-year old hardware store in Plainview (Long Island) New York.,
The Indie Awards are voted on by customers across the US who nominate and vote for their favorite small businesses. As reported in CNNMoney, the contest drew over 32,000 votes for more than 250 businesses.
“BusinessUS congratulates Trio Hardware for 5 decades of serving its community in simple but powerful ways,” says Norris Lozano, The CEO of BusinessUS, “We are especially impressed that nearly 10% of the local community voted for its hardware store – that really tells you something about the importance of the relationships Trio has built over time. Bravo!”
BusinessUS, a national non-bank lender bringing capital access to American small businesses that cannot get credit elsewhere, supports small businesses like Trio Hardware, with SBA 7(a) loans.
Independent We Stand tallied votes, and made the final determination after reviewing personal anecdotes from voters. “Our goal is to recognize a small business that has gone above and beyond with its customers and its community,” said Bill Brunelle, executive director of Independent We Stand. “What stood out for us is how the community has rallied to keep Trio Hardware alive for so long.”
Read hereto see how Trio Hardware’s community fought to keep Home Depot and Lowe’s out, allowing Trio to survive.
C-Level Boost: 27-Year Veteran Stephanie Bitters Joins SBA Lending Team at BusinessUS
Stephanie Bitters, an experienced SBA lender with track record at several of the most successful small business lenders, joins Norris Lozano and AZ Zate at BusinessUS, a national non-bank lender that provides SBA 7(a) small business loans. The C-level hire will help the company compete in target markets, including franchises nationwide, and traditional small businesses in Southern California and New England.
Check out our press release: “C-Level Score: BusinessUS Lands SBA Pro Stephanie Bitters, 27-year Veteran”
“Dec. 26, 2013 – LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Norris Lozano (CEO of BusinessUS) has announced the hiring 27-year SBA lending veteran Stephanie Bitters as Chief Credit Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Ms. Bitters joins veteran small business lenders Lozano, Antonio “AZ” Zate, and Tara Johnson on the operational team of BusinessUS, a non-bank lender delivering SBA 7(a) loans to American small businesses that cannot get credit elsewhere….”
Pulled from the Washington Post “On Small Business” section today, this article:
“Since January, the Thomson Reuters/PayNet Small Business Lending Index, which measures the volume of new commercial loans to small firms, has averaged 110.4, up substantially from an average of 103.6 in 2012.
That marks that fourth straight year-over-year improvement, with the average previously jumping from 74.2 in 2009 to 80.7 in 2010 to 94.6 in 2011. The scores are indexed so that the volume of loans from January 2005 equals 100; so the measure is now above pre-recession levels.”
“Credit health is up, delinquencies are down, and many indicators are pointing toward upward growth in small business lending activity,” says Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS, a non-bank lender making SBA 7(a) loans to small businesses in targeted markets nationwide.
The Coleman Report posits a life-threatening problem for small lenders: the approval of the Volcker Rule within Dodd-Frank means that large banks are going to be seeking new lending avenues – and a bunch are probable going to set their sights on SBA lending.
“Consider that 78% of all American bank deposits are held by only the largest 20 banks. The decks are already stacked against smaller banking companies with less than $500 million in assets. With a major source of revenue set to dry up in about 18 months, these larger banks will begin to scour the financial landscape for new places to deploy capital and SBA lending provides one of those opportunities,” says the Coleman article.
“Smaller institutions are going to have to be niche-focused and keep moving more quickly than large banks,” says Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS, a non-bank lender making SBA 7(a) loans, “We will have to remain agile and ready to seize opportunities.”
“It’s a legacy of the financial crisis that hasn’t quite faded away: Banks are still hesitant to loan to small businesses, constraining the growth of a part of the economy lionized by politicians and the public alike. While these businesses often rely on credit cards to finance operations and expansion, that’s a risky strategy, given that they still don’t have the legal protections against fees and unannounced changes that were extended to consumer cards in 2009.
Could pawnshops be a good alternative?”
“Ideally a small business borrower works with a loan provider who can do more than just loan some quick cash,” says Norris Lozano, CEO of small business lender BusinessUS, “there is so much more to running a business, which an experienced lending team can provide.”
“So, who are these borrowers (sourcing loans from pawn shops) exactly? … it’s the sole proprietor operating without much savings and not the best credit history who needs money fast, with no strings attached.”