TxCDC Customizes 2 Loans to Support Valley Die Castings’ Growing Needs

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Rio Grande Valley Company Molding Its Future

Valley Die Castings, Inc . built its reputation on creating custom components and providing just-in-time delivery to its Rio Grande Valley customers. So when owner Andrew Brown CPA contemplated applying for an SBA 504 loan, he wanted an equally high level of service.

Brown found what he was looking for in Texas Certified Development Company (TxCDC). “The TxCDC staff members were very easy to work with and very thorough in making sure all the details were addressed,” the owner of the McAllen-based business said.

TxCDC’s staff members, in turn, appreciated assisting a small business owner who had a vision for where his company needed to go. “Andrew knew what he wanted and how to get there,” said Senior Loan Officer Corey Gaskill, who oversaw the loan application process for TxCDC. “The SBA 504 loan met the down payment preferences of the borrower and provided needed expansion funding for a Texas company.”

quote_valleydieA Long History in the Valley

Valley Die Castings has a long history of working in the Rio Grande Valley. The company was started by Andrew’s father, Charles Brown, in 1992 with the help of an SBA 7(a) loan. Brown worked for his father after graduating from college, but then left to attend graduate school and become an accountant. In late 1996, Brown returned to the company when his father experienced serious health problems and purchased the business after his father’s death in 1997.

In the 17 years since Brown took ownership, Valley Die Castings has continued to grow. The company, which has 31 employees, manufactures custom aluminum and zinc die cast component parts. “We basically inject molten zinc or aluminum into a mold and form a part in the shape of the mold,”  Brown said. “We then perform value-added secondary operations such as Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machining, deburring, finishing and assembly. These parts are used by other manufacturers in their products.”

Increasing Capacity Through SBA Loans

Having obtained SBA loans in the past, Brown was very familiar with the SBA 504 loan program.  The Valley Die Castings owner finds he has an easier time obtaining financing through an SBA 504 loan instead of a traditional loan. Furthermore, Brown believes SBA 504 loans make good business sense because they have lower down-payment requirements and fixed interest rates, as well as longer amortizations.

Brown worked with TxCDC and Rio Bank Loan Officer Edward Zinsmeister to take out two SBA 504 loans. “The first loan was to refinance our real estate, which lowered our overall payment, and allowed us to get cash out for working capital,” Brown said. “We also have a 504 equipment loan, which was used to purchase new equipment to support our existing operations as well as our growth.  When the equipment is fully operational, we will increase sales 25-35 percent and hire nine additional employees.”

These two loans position Valley Die Castings to tap into the Rio Grande Valley’s growing economy.  “I am so pleased that TxCDC was able to provide the financing that Valley Die Casting needed for their growth,” said TxCDC President Suzanna Caballero. “We are excited to see businesses like Valley Die grow and be able to prosper when economic opportunities present themselves. We hope to help other business owners in the Rio Grande Valley do the same.

Written by Dorian Martin

Small Business Owner Finds Nothing Fishy About Advantages of SBA 504 Loan

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article_pic_qualityRenovations, Expansion Help Austin Business Thrive

Carol Huntsberger has a great fish tale to tell. It’s not a tale about the one that got away. Instead, she can tell a story of helping to turn around Quality Seafood when it was struggling. Then, with the help of Texas Certified Development Company (TxCDC), she was able to get an SBA 504 loan to buy and renovate the company’s building, which has helped her increase revenues by almost 25% over a two-year period.

img001A Long History of Sole Food

Since first opening in 1938, Quality Seafood has provided fresh fish to its Central Texas retail and wholesale customers. The Austin-based business, which is a U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved fish processor, filets the fish in-house, thus ensuring a high-quality product. Quality Seafood also has an in-house restaurant that serves lunch and dinner to approximately 3,500 customers per week.

In late 2003, Huntsberger and her husband purchased the company after he lost his financial services job in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001. At the time, Huntsberger was focused on raising her young children and continuing her work with Mary Kay so she wasn’t initially involved in the company’s operations.

However, everything changed at the end of the first year when Huntsberger received a call from the company’s bookkeeper. “She told me that we could either make payroll or we can pay the fish company,” Huntsberger remembered, adding that she immediately called a bank loan officer and arranged a $20,000 line of credit over the phone.  That event prompted Huntsberger, who has an accounting background, to have a visible daily presence at Quality Seafood.

Turning Around the Business

By the end of the couple’s first year of ownership, Quality Seafood lost almost $200,000. “I was just flipped out of my mind about what we were going to do because my husband had taken a huge pay cut and I was working up there for basically nothing and still trying to run my Mary Kay business and had a 9- and 11-year-old,” she remembered. “So I was working full-time round the clock. I came in here and got stuff cleaned up and I learned this business from the very bottom up.”

Her husband eventually left Quality Seafood to return to work in the financial services industry as the economy rebounded. Huntsberger decided to leave Mary Kay to become “the head fishmonger” three years into their ownership. “I just gradually fell in love with the business,” Huntsberger said. “I could see the rewards of my efforts. The one thing that I didn’t realize in the early days of this business that brings the greatest reward is that so many people have so many memories of this place. They can remember, ‘Oh, I used to come here with my mom’ or “I came with my grandma and we ate fish every Friday and we’ve been coming here for 30 years.’ Now their children are coming so we’ve crossed generations.” When the couple divorced in 2010, Huntsberger retained ownership of Quality Seafood.

quote_qualitySecuring a Long-Term Home

Another hurdle to Quality Seafood’s future soon emerged when the building owner looked to sell the location. Anticipating a significant increase in rent, Huntsberger began to consider moving from the location that had housed the company since 1970. She calculated that in order to pay the new rent, Quality Seafood would need to significantly increase its revenues. That would require an expansion and numerous renovations that would be prohibitively expensive since the building wasn’t up to code. However, her landlord really wanted Quality Seafood to stay so they reached an agreement for Huntsberger to purchase the building. To do so, Huntsberger needed a $4 million loan, which would include the expansion and renovations. She contacted University Federal Credit Union (UFCU), which brought in TxCDC to help Huntsberger apply for an SBA 504 loan with a very low interest rate that only required a 10% down payment. Since its inception in 1981, TxCDC has assisted more than 550 businesses in getting this type of SBA financing which, in turn, has resulted in the creation and retention of more than 13,000 jobs for the state of Texas.

Even with a background in accounting, Huntsberger found that asking for a $4 million loan was daunting. “Sometimes when you’re the one going to ask for money, you feel like you’re the subservient person. So you feel like they’re the ones in control and you’re the one begging for the money,” she said. “Particularly as a woman, you can feel sometimes looked down upon when asking for an amount of money that I can’t imagine making in my lifetime. It’s pretty amazing that TxCDC and UFCU believed in me and were partners with me and trusted that I knew my business.”

Working with consultant Armando Ruiz, Huntsberger was able to apply for and quickly secure the loan. “Armando was so nice. He came in and walked me through the paperwork,” she remembered. “He was so organized with a folder of copies of everything for me. He worked with UFCU as a team and made it all happen.” Ruiz has more than 25 years of successful government and private industry experience in public finance, commercial real estate development and business development.

She purchased the building in 2012 and started the renovations in August of that year. The owner found the TxCDC staff was equally helpful as the expansion and renovations took place by gently prompting her when tasks related to the loan needed to be accomplished. “I felt like they were vested in it, also,” she said. “The best part is that I still see them come in to eat at the restaurant. They’re still supporting me.”

Serving as a Model of What’s Possible

Quality Seafood unveiled the renovations during a grand reopening on Jan. 27, 2013, which was the company’s 75th anniversary of being in business.  The expansion and renovation project doubled the company’s space to 16,000 square feet. The additional space includes a private dining room that is used to host cooking classes, business meetings, book club meetings and a variety of special event dinners. The restaurant also doubled in space, allowing the addition of a grill and 60 additional chairs. The retail shop got what Huntsberger described as “breathing room,” including back-up coolers and freezers that are used to supply fresh seafood to retail customers as well as businesses, including some of Austin’s top restaurants and country clubs.

These changes have helped Quality Seafood continue to prosper. Since the completion of the renovation, Huntsberger has added 17 additional employees and finds that the restaurant is always full. “We’ve been exceeding all of my sales goals,” she said, pointing out that sales increased by 17% during the first year after the renovation was completed. In 2014, the company’s sales have thus far increased another 10%.

This small business owner believes that Ruiz, TxCDC and the SBA 504 loan were a godsend in helping Quality Seafood move to this new level of prosperity. “We don’t have to live in fear of getting kicked out or moved out,” Huntsberger said. “And especially when you’re looking at the renovations that are happening around Airport Boulevard, this is home now. I think because of us and some of the success we’ve had over the past few years and other businesses coming into this area, I think we’ve shown that people come here to eat so other restaurants are coming over here. So I think it’s been good for not only our business, but I think it’s helped this area.”

Written by Dorian Martin

Photos by Quality Seafood

Esparza’s Work Ethic, Focus on Customer Service Ensures
TxCDC’s Loan Application Process Stays on Track

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Agueda “Agatha” Esparza’s work ethic and attention to detail has always been noticed. Starting as a teenager when she was hired to bus tables at a restaurant but soon promoted to waitress, Texas Certified Development Company’s packaging manager regularly has been recognized by her employers for her willingness to go the extra mile. That perseverance, attention to detail and friendliness has not only helped her achieve personal milestones, but makes her the perfect person to assist small business owners who are looking to grow their business through an SBA 504 loan.

“Customer focus is what I think of when I think of Agueda,” said TxCDC President Suzanna Caballero. “She always considers our customers, which we consider our borrowers and bankers, when she takes action, works with our team and performs her duties.  It’s natural for Agueda.  What a joy it is to have her work ethic and customer focus on our team!”

Always Striving to Improve

Born in Mexico, Esparza is the youngest of eight children. When she was 11, her family moved to Natchitoches, Louisiana. Because she didn’t speak a word of English, Esparza was assigned to an English-as-a-Second-Language class where her teacher took her under her wing. She quickly learned English and graduated from high school in 1989, becoming the first person in her family to finish high school.

With her teacher’s help, Esparza headed to Austin, TX where she received a full scholarship to attend St. Edward’s University through a program for students who were raised by migrant workers. She started college with the intent of studying international business because of the North American Free Trade Agreement, but ended up changing her major to liberal arts with a minor in Spanish. She achieved another first in her family – a college diploma — and reached another milestone in 1994 when she earned her U.S. citizenship.

quote_agethaKnowing That Relationships Matter

During her last year in college, Esparza took a job as a waitress in an Austin restaurant. One of her regular customers, TxCDC Chairman Paul Tovar, admired her work ethic and helpful demeanor and invited her to join his business, Austin Occupational Clinic. In late 1995, she moved to TxCDC, becoming the company’s second employee.

Esparza was hired to support TxCDC President Ernest Perales. “He has been the greatest mentor that I have had. I learned a lot from him,” she said. “He was always very calm, very professional. He would always tell me his main concern was to serve our clients the best that we could. Customers would call us with a request on their loan and we would always respond to them that day or the day after. I thought that was really a good way to do business because we always kept our clients happy.”

At that time, TxCDC’s consultants worked in assigned areas covering 97 of the state’s 254 counties and would submit applications directly to the SBA. Once the loan was approved, TxCDC would be responsible for servicing the loan.  In her role, Esparza assisted in facilitating the customer’s completion of all SBA requirements during the loan period. She also worked with Perales to help customers get deferments if they could not make a payment.

Her favorite part of the job at that time was joining Perales on field visits. “We would go and meet with the client and see the property. It was neat to see an actual building was created because of a loan that we had worked on,” Esparza said. “And meeting the client – that was the most important thing we did. We met the client face-to-face so the next time they called, they could put a face with a voice.”

An Expanded Role

As the SBA rules changed to encourage more competition among certified development companies and TxCDC grew, Esparza’s role began to change. Her responsibilities expanded and ranged from ensuring that all of TxCDC’s files were in order for SBA audits to creating the organization’s marketing materials. She also mentored new staff members on operations as well as TxCDC‘s focus on customer service. When the actual loan application process became centralized at TxCDC, Esparza started servicing files and facilitating the application process through working with clients, bankers, the consultants and the SBA.

She now works closely with TxCDC Chief Credit Officer Oscar Martinez to review documentation, prepare forms, and submit the final loan applications. Because of her long tenure at TxCDC, Esparza serves as a key quality-control monitor to ensure that all elements of the application process are done correctly so the loan can be approved quickly.

Esparza appreciates being part of a TxCDC team that is dedicated to helping their clients. “For almost 20 years, I have seen TxCDC grow from a really small company with only a few loans to its current portfolio of several hundred loans,” she said. “TxCDC’s success comes from the dedicated staff members and consultants who, combined, have spent more than 150 years serving this organization and its customers.”

Despite the addition of many new job responsibilities, Esparza still finds one of her favorite parts of her job is watching a project move from the conceptual phase to completion.  “I’m like ‘Wow, this is somebody’s dream on a piece of paper and now it’s a reality,” she said. “It’s incredible to see the joy on the owner’s face and know that I helped make their dreams possible.”

By Dorian Martin

Investing in Technology? Avoid These Mistakes!

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Referenced from the Business Circle by AT&T

If you are a small business owner and plan to invest in new technology, stop before you move on. We came across this article by business author Susan Solovic, highlighting some of the most common technology investment mistakes and how to avoid them. Purchasing the right technology for your business is critical but can be difficult to determine what is best suited for your needs and budget. Susan covers several points that will help you make better decisions. Read the full article here.

SBA Early Retirements and the Effect On Lenders

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Referenced from the Coleman Report

According to a report from the Coleman Report, the last day of the federal government’s fiscal year end (September 30th, 2014) was also the last day of government service for thousands of federal employees. Because of this the SBA suffered some casualties in the process, specifically a high number of senior employees opting for early retirement. How does this effect lenders? Read the full article here.

Best Practices: Lender’s Responsibilities for Disbursements in SBA Loans

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Republished (in whole) with permission from: Starfield & Smith, P.C.

by Timothy D’Lauro

0d168ebOne of the most important conditions in underwriting, documenting and properly closing an SBA loan is making sure that the use of loan proceeds complies with and is subsequently disbursed in the manner dictated by the SBA in the Loan Authorization. It is the responsibility of the Lender to ensure that all conditions are met before, during and after closing takes place to make sure the loan is properly disbursed. If the Lender does not properly monitor ALL loan disbursements, it is possible that a repair or denial could jeopardize its guaranty.

In the time period before the loan closes, the Lender must work to obtain the proper documentation to ensure that the Loan proceeds will be properly disbursed in accordance with the Loan Authorization. Some of this documentation includes notes, invoices and payoff statements depending on the type of transaction. These steps are crucial in ensuring that the use of proceeds for which the Lender is planning on disbursing will comply with SBA guidelines even before the money is disbursed.

During closing, the Lender must pay careful attention to how and where the loan proceeds are being disbursed. While loan closings may differ in who disburses the loan proceeds, such as a title agency, escrow agent, or counsel for buyer or seller, one element that must always remain the same is that the Lender must always take an active role in making sure the loan proceeds are disbursed properly by whomever the closing agent is. Along with the SBA Form 1050 which is required to be signed at the time of initial disbursement, the Lender must also request copies of other settlement documents, such as invoices and receipts corresponding to closing, showing that the funds disbursed were used for the intended purposes. In addition, the Lender should obtain copies of all disbursement checks and also disbursing wire information to confirm that the funds actually did go to the intended recipients and destinations. This information should be readily and immediately available to be provided to the Lender by the disbursement agent.

If the transaction is a single disbursement transaction, most of the evidence and documentation will be obtained at closing. However, if the loan is a multi-disbursement loan, such as a construction loan or a loan that will be multi-disbursed for future equipment purchases or working capital, there is still work to be done by the Lender post closing. For instance, if the loan is a construction loan, the Lender will either need to monitor all future construction related payments itself, most likely through an in-house construction department, or employ a construction monitoring firm to take care of the future disbursements. All future disbursements must be documented the same way as the disbursements from the initial closing, including invoices, receipts, draw requests, and other documentary evidence of disbursement, and attached to the SBA Form 1050 signed at closing. This information should be saved in the Lender’s file to be provided to the SBA at a future date.

While in many circumstances, another party is tasked with disbursing loan funds at closing, it is always in the Lender’s best interest to be proactive and diligent in making sure the funds are disbursed in accordance with the SBA Loan Authorization and the SOP 50 10 5(F) in order to protect its guaranty.

For more information on disbursing an SBA loan, please contact Tim at tdlauro@starfieldsmith.com or at 267-470-1182 or visit: http://starfieldsmith.com

BBVA Compass Stadium Gets Standing Ovation for Helping
to Transform Troubled Houston Area

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New Market Tax Credits Help Make Facility Possible

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Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium — which was created with the support of $25.5 million in New Markets Tax Credits allocated by Texas LIC Development Company (which is a subsidiary of Texas Certified Development Company), Texas Certified Development Company, Waveland Community Development and Wells Fargo — has boosted employment, increased tax revenues and received numerous accolades since it first broke ground in February 2011. The state-of-the-art stadium, which was completed in May 2012, serves as the home to the Houston Dynamos of Major League Soccer, the Houston Dash of the National Women’s Soccer League and the Texas Southern Tigers football team.

Providing A Significant Economic Impact

The BBVA Compass Stadium is a key catalyst in the development of Houston’s East Downtown District and adjacent areas.  Although the East Downtown District has had a long history of commercial and industrial usage, the land and assets were largely underutilized or dilapidated prior to the stadium’s construction. The area also has been severely distressed economically with a 41.5% poverty rate, an 11.5% unemployment rate and incomes that were 43.6% of the 2011 average median income. The creation of BBVA Compass Stadium has made a big difference for the area. The new stadium resulted in the creation of 360 construction jobs, 84 operations jobs and 500 game-day part-time jobs. Furthermore, the total cumulative tax revenue generated from the construction and operations of the facility is projected to be $114.5 million over the next two decades.

Because of the construction of the stadium, city leaders also have made the redevelopment of the area into a priority. A new metro rail line is scheduled to open in 2014 and will stop directly in front of the stadium. This addition is expected to greatly increase the number of visitors to the area. The development sparked by the stadium’s construction also is expected to help transition the district from an industrial area into a more diverse neighborhood that offers housing, entertainment, culture, retail, food and services.

Garnering Top Honors in Many Categories

BBVA Compass Stadium’s role in the transformation of the East Downtown District has resulted in numerous honors. The 22,000-seat stadium was honored as a 2014 finalist for the Houston District Council of the Urban Land Institute’s Development of Distinction Awards program. This awards program recognizes developments that exemplify best practices in design, construction, economic viability, community health, marketing and management.

BBVA Compass Stadium previously received two awards in the Houston Business Journal’s 2013 Landmark Awards, which recognize real estate projects that have made a significant impression on the Houston landscape. The stadium was honored in in the award program’s Public Assembly and Public-Private Partnership categories. It also was a finalist in both the Community Impact and Hospitality/Entertainment categories.

The stadium also has been recognized as a model of sustainable development through receiving a 2012 Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Participation in the voluntary LEED process demonstrates leadership, innovation, environmental stewardship and social responsibility. The stadium features that were recognized included:

  • Diverting 86.5% of the on-site generated construction waste from the landfill;
  • Reducing water use by 41% through the installation of high-energy toilets and non-water;
  • Reducing energy use by 20.41%;
  • Sourcing 98.42% of the total wood-based building materials from Forest Stewardship Council-certified forests;
  • Providing numerous recycling receptacles around the facility to encourage recycling; and
  • Providing preferred parking spaces for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles.

The stadium project also spurred the development of the Houston Amateur Sports Park (HASP), which is the Houston Dynamo’s training venue. The HASP, which was specifically created to address the dearth of quality community recreational facilities in the area, also serves as a community soccer park for youth and amateur events.

by Dorian Martin

 

 

 

Pineapple School Owners Find TxCDC Speaks Their Language
in Starting Second Location

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1917860_178753166999_3119800_nKrisana Puccio always wanted to learn Spanish. She didn’t achieve her own dream until later in life, but she’s dedicated to helping her young charges learn this language while attending The Pineapple School.

The Spanish-immersion early learning center, located in north central San Antonio, has 180 students enrolled. “We only speak Spanish at the school,” said Puccio, who serves as the school’s administrator. “We have children who range in age from 6 weeks to 5 years old. From the moment they start coming to the Pineapple School, we try to only speak to them in Spanish. The idea is to take advantage of this time that, according to education research, children are able to acquire a second language, or even a third or fourth at a very rapid rate and very easily.”

The children aren’t the only ones achieving rapid success. The school, which opened in 2010, already has a waiting list of more than 300 children, thus prompting Krisana and her business partners – husband Juan Puccio, her father Dr. Hugo Carvajal, and her mother Susan Carvajal, who serves as the school’s director – to seek a Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loan through Texas Certified Development Company (TxCDC) to build a second location.

¿Habla usted español?

In order to become fluent in Spanish, Krisana took part in study abroad programs in high school and college. However, she didn’t begin to realize her dream until she attended a two-year graduate program at a business school in Costa Rica where she was immersed in the Spanish language. Juan, who was also attending the school and was fluent in that language, helped Krisana understand the coursework. After the pair graduated, they married and moved to Krisana’s hometown of San Antonio. Once there, she returned the favor by helping Juan, a native of Venezuela, improve his knowledge and use of English.

Tutoring each other in an unfamiliar language got the two entrepreneurs thinking about starting a business based on the goal of learning a language. They hit upon the idea of starting a daycare because of her parents’ history of owning a daycare when Krisana was a child. Krisana and her husband approached her parents about the idea and they quickly decided they wanted to join the endeavor.

The four partners began to search for property at a time when the economy was shaky. They found a location and worked with BBVA Compass Bank, which connected them with TxCDC Consultant Bob Nance. The partners qualified for their initial fixed rate SBA 504 loan and only had to contribute a 15-percent down payment.  “Krisana and her family had a great vision and a solid, well-conceived plan.  All they needed was good financing,” Nance said. “BBVA Compass Bank brought us in as a partner, and together, we structured the 504 loan that provided them the funds to achieve their goal of a start-up daycare.”

quote_pineappleBuilding on Their Success

The school’s rapid success has led the partners to consider expansion. “The first center was so successful that a second location was a logical step in their growth,” Nance said. “We were able to provide a second 504 loan, ensuring that they would have the same long-term, fixed rate financing that was used to start the business.”

Because they owned their business for more than two years, the SBA 504 loan only required the Pineapple School partners to make a 10-percent down payment. Construction on the new site is scheduled to begin in spring 2014 and the school should open in early 2015. The new location, which is located slightly north of the first school, will serve 230 children and employ 40 staff members.

Opening the new location will allow the partners to more than double their business as well as to gain many efficiencies. “Right now, we develop curriculum for one school. We can do the same amount of work and now develop it for two schools; it takes the same amount of time,” Krisana said, adding that having the second school will help the partners economize in other areas such as staff training and supplies.

A Friend in TxCDC

Krisana and her partners purposely decided to include the pineapple in the school’s name. Besides being a symbol of welcome, the pineapple, which is grown in Latin America, also represents friends and family.

And that’s what TxCDC’s Bob Nance has become to the partners since he often literally went the extra mile to help the partners get their loan. “Since there are four of us — my dad’s a physician who is on call, my husband has a full-time job on the other side of the city, and my mom and I are here at school — it’s always tough to get us all together to sign the papers, but he has always been accommodating with us,” Krisana said. “He would come to school so we could sign papers. One time, my mom got sick and had to be put in the hospital, and he met us at the hospital to sign papers.”

Nance also has made sure that each SBA 504 loan would fit the partners’ evolving needs. “We had to increase the amount of the loan at one point, and Bob worked very diligently to get the increase approved,” Krisana said. “Bob and TxCDC have been very clear and transparent in helping us understand the financials and process. He has always worked in a timely manner to get the loan approved. We’re very satisfied with Bob. He’s been a real pleasure to work with.”

by Dorian Martin

 

 

 

 

Nance’s Extensive Experience Helps Small Businesses Grow Despite Looming Economic Threats

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Offering Advice, Resources to San Antonio, Hill Country Entrepreneurs and Bankers

bio_pic_bobBob Nance understands what it feels like to be in a potentially hostile environment that could change the trajectory of one’s life.

During a recent trip to the African country of Tanzania, the Texas Certified Development Company (TxCDC) consultant participated in a safari. “We got so close to so many wild animals. It just amazed me,” he said. “One time we went down this dirt road and came across some lions. We stopped about 30 feet away to watch them. One huge lion walked over and laid down in the shade of our truck right by where I was sitting. I could have reached down and petted that lion but I probably would have lost an arm in the process.”

That experience gave Nance a renewed respect for what many of his small business clients must have experienced when facing the seemingly unrelenting claws of the recent economic recession. “I was feeling secure inside the truck, but also knew that I could be suddenly mauled by the lion if something went wrong,” Nance said. “It’s like a small business owner who is doing well and growing, but can be put on the brink of disaster in a very short time if the economy takes a downturn.”

That’s why Nance uses the lessons learned during his 40-plus years of working in commercial lending and finance to guide small business owners in growing their businesses. Because of this wealth of knowledge and the relationships he’s built during his career, Nance has become the go-to person for San Antonio-area small business owners and bankers who want to get Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loans.

quote_bob1A Small Town Boy Makes It Big

Nance, the son of a salesman and a school teacher, grew up in Taft, a small community of 3,500 near Corpus Christi. He left South Texas to attend the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a bachelor’s of business administration degree in finance in 1973.  After working for the Texas Employment Commission (now the Texas Workforce Commission) for several years after college, Nance returned to Taft to take a job as an executive vice president at the local bank.

Soon after moving back to his hometown, Nance found that he had come to prefer big city life. He returned to Austin in 1985 and the following year joined Southwestern Commercial Capital where he first worked with SBA 504 loans. That job served as the impetus for a 28-year career focused on helping small businesses thrive.

In 1987, Nance joined The Money Store, which at the time was the nation’s largest SBA lender. He was promoted to area vice president and was responsible for the region covering Texas and Oklahoma. While in this role, he moved to San Antonio in order to be closer to the SBA district office, which is based in the Alamo City.

In 1995, Nance left The Money Store to form Bob Nance and Associates, which specializes in small business loan consulting. This latest role lets Nance continue to do what he loves – helping small businesses grow. “The common thread in my career is small business financing,” he said. “I have found my niche in doing SBA loans over the years.”

An Increasingly Streamlined Process

Over his long career, Nance has seen changes implemented at the SBA that ultimately are good for the small business client and the banker. For instance, the SBA has streamlined its operations so that all loan approvals are centralized, thus cutting down the time that business owners have to wait for approval on their loans. “Twenty-five years ago, it may have taken months to complete the loan process,” Nance said. “Now business owners find out that it’s not the case and that their loans can be completed in a matter of weeks.”

There also has been an increase in competition among certified development companies, which ultimately benefits small business owners. Licensed certified development companies (CDCs) were originally restricted to working in specific regions since demand for SBA loans was limited. However, about a decade ago, the SBA allowed CDCs to expand their efforts throughout the state, thus encouraging competition. “That change meant that it was even more important for certified development companies to focus on providing outstanding service to differentiate themselves,” Nance said. “And that’s where TxCDC shines. Our staff is really good and they have extensive experience from the top to the bottom. The staff members also have been at the company forever so they know what they’re doing.”

Nance was originally introduced to TxCDC when he worked at The Money Store. “With the other two companies I worked for, we primarily used another SBA loan program (7a), but at the Money Store, we occasionally worked with TxCDC on 504 loans,” he explained. “In 2001, I was approached by a TxCDC representative about working with them as a consultant. I checked out the company and found that it was made up of a great bunch of people. I knew that I wanted to be a part of that group.”

quote_bob2Forging the Future for the Alamo City

While the Texas economy has tended to fluctuate over the years, the San Antonio area has remained fairly stable. “San Antonio is built on small businesses and is doing well,” he said. “The San Antonio area’s economy is more stable and tends to be less of roller coaster than the economies in many other Texas cities.”

He pointed out that San Antonio small businesses have positioned themselves well to benefit from the major economic powers in the region. For instance, the Eagle Ford Shale boom in the southern part of Texas has led many major oil companies to open offices in San Antonio, thus offering opportunities for small businesses to serve their interests. In addition, the Medical Center has generated opportunities for medical-related businesses that need offices and equipment. Another key component of the San Antonio economy continues to be the military, due to the presence of Fort Sam Houston, Lackland Air Force Base, Randolph Air Force Base and Camp Bullis. Additionally, the city’s tourism industry, which historically has accounted for one out of every eight jobs in the metro area and brought $12 billion into the city annually, continues to bounce back after the recession.

The Go-To Guy

In his work with TxCDC, Nance focuses on loans for small business clients in San Antonio and the Hill Country area, although his wide-ranging network has made him the “go-to” person for many clients in other parts of the state.  Nance also has built a lot of relationships with regional bankers and encourages them to involve him early in the loan approval process in order to ensure that their small business clients qualify for an SBA 504 loan. “Most of the banks have the same loan officer and most of the banks have been in the San Antonio area since I began working as a loan consultant. I rely on those relationships to generate loans,” he said. “In fact, approximately 90 percent of the loans I work with come from these bankers.”

TxCDC President Suzanna Caballero appreciates Nance’s experience, professionalism, network and attention to customer service and the details. “Bob is Mr. 504.  He provides incredible support to bankers and produces amazingly accurate packages that result in fast approval,” she said. “His experience with SBA lending has included training bankers and borrowers. His depth of knowledge allows him to provide platinum level service with every transaction. We love working with Bob!”

by Dorian Martin

Free Webinar – Business Owners: Learn How to Finance Your Building and Equipment with Only a 10% Investment

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SBA Offers a FREE Financial Webinar: CDC/504 Loan Program for New and Existing Small Businesses

sba-logo-1024x451SAN ANTONIO, TX – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in collaboration with Texas Certified Development Company (TxCDC) is offering a FREE financial webinar, CDC/504 Loan Program for new and existing small businesses.  SBA works with certified development companies and lenders to provide small businesses with “brick and mortar” financing to acquire major fixed assets for expansion or modernization such as, land, building and equipment.  Join SBA and TxCDC staff and learn about the eligibility and process of this unique specialized loan program.

WHAT: A FREE financial webinar for small businesses

WHEN: July 22, 2014, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. (CDT)

WHO: SBA Guest Speaker: Texas Certified Development Company

HOW:  Connect to the webinar at: https://connect16.uc.att.com/sba/meet/?ExEventID=89740942

Registration is required. Contact Aixa Leath, Lender Relations Specialist, SBA San Antonio District Office at aixa.leath@sba.gov

Copy of the presentation will be forwarded to participants.