Alaska Small Business Success Coach Tour
ANCHORAGE, AK – Local small business owners, Small Business Administration (SBA) officials, Certified Development Companies, and others today participated in a Small Business Success Coach Tour focused on small business lending. Organized by the National Association of Development Companies (NADCO) and Evergreen Business Capital, the coach tour took a route through Anchorage that stopped at small businesses that have either received or are in the process of receiving a Real Estate Advantage Loan (REAL 504), SBA’s flagship economic development program, offering a game-changing 10% down, low-rate, long-term financing product that helps businesses purchase real estate and equipment. The coach tour started at the Tikahtnu Commons Red Robin and made stops at Blaine’s Art Supply, Alaska Chip Co., and the Ulu Factory.
“As Alaskans seek jobs in their communities and a full economic recovery, the REAL 504 Loan has helped hundreds of Alaska small businesses create essential jobs and opportunities. NADCO members like Evergreen Business Capital have played an important role in providing access to capital -- the lifeblood of small business and job creation,” said NADCO President and CEO Beth Solomon. “But we as a nation must do more to support these efforts. Congress should immediately reinstate the popular REAL 504 debt refinance program, which could fuel 100,000 businesses nationwide. NADCO will continue to work with members of Congress in an effort to reauthorize a proven program that can benefit Alaskans and all Americans.”
Fred Rosenberg is the owner of the Tikahtnu Commons Red Robin. He was able to utilize a REAL 504 loan to relocate the restaurant and retain its 80 jobs, while also reducing the restaurant's energy use by over 10 percent. The uniquely Alaska Ulu Factory, owned by David Gransbury, relied on a REAL 504 loan to build a tourist-friendly manufacturing facility of Eskimo knives.
For Alaskans who love art, they have Rene Haag's Blaine's Art Supply - which was made possible in part by a REAL 504 loan. The low-cost financing enabled Cynthia to acquire land, clean up previously existing environmental issues, and construct a new building in a business district in need of revitalization.
Over at the Alaska Chip Co., owners Ralph and Darcy Carney are proud to have produced all-natural kettle chips using select Alaska-grown potatoes since 2003. They are also hoping to soon secure a REAL 504 loan to purchase a commercial building and expand their business.
While businesses across the state are benefiting from REAL 504 loans, thousands more could benefit from a reauthorization of the REAL 504 debt refinancing program. The program, which expired in 2012, allowed small businesses to refinance their loans to restructure their debt.
“Many banks today, for regulatory reasons, cannot finance additional commercial real estate, and those that do very often will not refinance small business commercial real estate with a long term and low fixed-rate. The 20-year, fixed-rate, long-term financing uniquely provided by any REAL 504 loan provides a higher level of savings to the borrower than virtually any other product on the market," said Evergreen Business Capital President & CEO, Patti Kibbe. "The SBA 504 program proved it could help Main Street businesses survive, stabilize and expand during from the Great Recession. Still, today, a wall of commercial mortgage maturities looms ahead for small businesses and they are struggling to have access to capital. The need is still here."
There is bipartisan support for this program, and legislation to reauthorize it (the CREED Act) is currently pending in Congress. NADCO is a strong supporter of the reauthorization and continues to work closely with members of the U.S. House and Senate to bring back this important tool for small businesses in Washington and across the country.
ABOUT SBA Real Estate Advantage (REAL 504) Loans
The SBA Real Estate Advantage (REAL 504) Loan asset finance initiative is SBA's flagship economic development program, designed to assist small business owners obtain 10% down, low-rate, long-term financing for capital assets like the purchase of real estate and equipment. Recognizing that small businesses often have difficulty getting long-term, low-cost financing, SBA REAL 504 program provides favorable loans for businesses to invest in facilities and equipment, so they can continue to expand and create new jobs long term.
The National Association of Development Companies (NADCO) is the trade association of SBA lenders including Certified Development Companies (CDCs), nonprofit companies that have been certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide financing for small businesses under the SBA 504 Program. NADCO represents nearly 270 CDCs, serving all 50 states. In 2013, the industry provided $5.1 billion to nearly 8,000 U.S. small businesses.
ABOUT EVERGREEN BUSINESS CAPITAL
Evergreen Business Capital is the Northwest’s leading SBA 504 loan expert. Evergreen has over 30 years in the industry helping small businesses fund their big ideas. Evergreen partners with lenders in Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Northern Idaho to provide 504 loans, which businesses use to purchase commercial real estate and equipment at a lower interest rate and with less money down.