State Farm Insurance Agent Dee Carter knows a good deal when she sees one!
The Dallas-area small business owner found the perfect location that would allow her to expand her insurance agency as well as relocate a salon suite that she owns with her husband. And thanks to the assistance of Texas Certified Development Company (TxCDC), Carter qualified for a Small Business Administration 504 loan with a low down payment and a low fixed interest rate so that her small businesses could move to the new location in April 2013.
Positioned to Build a Bigger Customer Base
Carter originally started her insurance agency 10 years ago in Mesquite. From that location, she built a strong customer base primarily from residents and businesses in the Garland and Rockwall areas. The building that she owned also housed the salon suite.
The new location is in Forney, which is about 10 miles away from the original Mesquite office. Part of the property’s draw is that it’s three times the size of the Mesquite location and includes three separate buildings. One building now houses Carter’s State Farm agency; this building is 50% larger than the previous insurance agency location. The couple’s salon suite is in the second building and Carter plans to lease the third location to another small business.
The Forney location also offers the opportunity to reach out to a new client base. Through taking out an SBA 504 loan that has low payments, Carter is able to maximize her cash flow and plans to almost double the number of employees working at the insurance agency. She believes this increase in staff will help her double the agency’s insurance policy counts.
A Change of Mind
Yet, Carter almost passed on applying for an SBA 504 loan. As a small business owner, she knew that she had a limited amount of time to accomplish completing the sale and relocation. She also was very leery of the amount of paperwork that she thought would be necessary for this type of loan.
The Dallas-area businesswoman changed her mind after TxCDC’s staff shared the financial benefits of an SBA 504 loan. TxCDC’s staff even helped Carter identify a bank partner and complete the necessary paperwork so that she quickly qualified for the loan of her dreams. “I only had to have 10% down as opposed to the 25% down, which my bank was requiring for a conventional loan,” Carter said. “Plus I got a great fixed rate – 4.0% – when the going market was between 5-6.5%. So a combination of the low down payment and a great fixed interest rate made a big difference by preserving cash I needed to make the move and expand my business”
Carter’s experience offers a great example of how small business owners can use an SBA 504 loan to help their enterprise attain the next level of success. “It is wonderful to see a business make the move to grow and serve a larger client base,” TxCDC President Suzanna Caballero said. “Ms. Carter’s made a strategic decision for her companies, which are now positioned to take off and grow.”
by Dorian Martin