North Bay Banks were invited to send us snapshot profiles of their leading Small Business Administration loan officers, including their favorite SBA lending stories and bank news. Listed alphabetically by organization name.
Bay Area Development Company
Bob Thompson, Vice president
(925) 472-5603, firstname.lastname@example.org
Year assumed position: 1995
Significant news: SBA reinstating, on a permanent basis, the ability to refinance commercial property under the 504 loan program. Although we are still pending SBA’s writing of the rules and regulations regarding this program, it was a great success when previously instituted on a temporary basis and should be highly beneficial to qualifying small business borrowers. It is our expectation that the program will become operational by mid-year.
Favorite SBA lending story: Virtually all of the projects that we finance have their own compelling stories. What remains most gratifying is being able to assist an applicant that has exhausted all other potential lending avenues and then seeing them prosper as a result of the financing. This is the true benefit of SBA: that it enables certain businesses to obtain financing that may not otherwise be available without the support (guarantee) that SBA provides. That and the leverage that SBA allows (lower down payment/equity requirements increase the field of potential purchasers/borrowers) over conventional financing.
Most inspiring leader: Steve Kerr
Capital Access Group
Jacklyn Jordan, President and Founder
Year assumed position: 1997
Significant news at your bank: Capital Access Group was recognized recently as the fastest Certified Development Company (CDC) in California for turnaround times on SBA 504 loan approvals, and in the Top 10 in the entire country, receiving a 4-star rating — the highest rating possible — from the SBA for its work. Capital Access Group turns loans around in almost half the time compared to the national average of all CDCs. In California’s competitive commercial real estate market, quick turnaround time is essential.
Favorite SBA lending story: One of our clients, Marin County-based Equator Coffees & Teas, was named SBA’s national Business Person(s) of the year and the 2016 Small Business of the Year for California. Capital Access Group nominated cofounders, Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell, for the award. We provided SBA 504 financing in 2003 for Equator to purchase its own, 5,500-square-foot roasting plant. We are honored to have played a role in the success of their business.
Calling the decision to purchase “one of the best decisions we’ve ever made,” Helen said Capital Access “made the process very easy, and really walked us through the process. A conventional loan, with a down payment between 20 and 35 percent, would have made it impossible to own.”
Founded in 1995, Equator now has 90 employees, more than 350 wholesale customers – including the renowned French Laundry restaurant in Yountville – and three retail stores in Northern California with two more on the way.
These amazing women have not only created a successful, socially responsible business, they have also helped to influence the trajectory of the coffee industry through their early support of the Fair Trade movement.
Most-inspiring leader: The leaders I admire most are the hardworking small business men and women who start and grow their own businesses. We are fortunate to work with some of the most successful small business owners, the ones who are ready to invest in expanding with their own facilities. They work hard every day to drive economic growth, create jobs, and strengthen their communities.