Awards in business always attract attention, but often more interesting are the compelling stories behind the trophies, tales of growth and job creation propelled by infusions of capital.

Four entrepreneurial clients of CDC Small Business Finance recently received awards from the Small Business Administration’s San Diego district, all in recognition of their success, including how they used financing to leverage expansion.

Neyenesch Printers, a San Diego-based commercial printing company family-owned and operated since 1899, used an SBA 504 loan to buy a building to accommodate the company’s growth. With the move, owner Kandy Neyenesch was able to create 20 new jobs to add to the 120 people already employed. Neyenesch won SBA’s Family-Owned Small Business of the Year award.

Interpreters Unlimited, which has been providing multilingual solutions to businesses and government agencies for over 40 years, was awarded the Minority-Owned Small Business of the Year. The company needed more space in 2008 so owner Sayed Ali secured an SBA 504 loan to purchase a larger building, which allowed the entrepreneur to grow the business and increase his staff by 25%.

Southwest Boulder & Stone, owned by Michelle McLeod, won Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year. Women-owned businesses are gaining traction and Michelle is a prime example of an entrepreneur who leverages capital to expand. She used SBA 504 financing to buy a site for her company’s sixth retail outlet. She employs 120 people and with anticipated growth, plans to create 10 new jobs.

Rough Draft Brewing Company was awarded the Small Business Exporter of the Year. After experimenting for years in his garage, owner Jeff Silver launched Rough Draft in 2011. With his financing, Jeff built a tasting room and bought new brewing equipment. Demand for his beers has now pushed beyond domestic distribution into international markets.

Congratulations to all these small business award winners. Their hard work, focus and determination put them on a path to greater success, evidenced by these well-deserved SBA awards.

Posted on 6/08/2017
SBA 504 financing sparks ongoing growth and success

Michelle McLeod, owner of Southwest Boulder & Stone in north San Diego County, was recognized May 4 by the Small Business Administration as the Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year.

Michelle McLeod, owner of Southwest Boulder & Stone, displays her SBA award with Merri Adams, commercial loan officer with CDC Small Business Finance

McLeod was recognized for the prolific growth of her company which last year bought a building for its sixth retail location with the help of a low-interest-rate SBA 504 loan designed for commercial real estate purchases. CDC Small Business Finance, a not-for-profit headquartered in San Diego provided the financing for McLeod.

The SBA acknowledged McLeod’s entrepreneurism, for capitalizing on the rising cost of water in Southern California and offering xeriscape solutions.

“With rolling lawns disappearing in most neighborhoods, we seized the opportunity to expand our landscape rock and stone business as homeowners install yards that need less water,” said McLeod, whose business employs over 100 people and anticipates adding 10 more jobs in the next year.

Reflecting on her decision to make the SBA 504 loan commitment, McLeod added: “We believed in ourselves, as did our employees and CDC Small Business Finance.”

Merri Adams, the CDC loan expert who assisted McLeod with her loan, said: “Michelle’s a great example of an entrepreneur who recognized the benefit of SBA financing. We’re proud to have been part of her successful journey.”

Posted on 5/16/2017

Small businesses owners, particularly women and minorities, face acute and unique challenges when it comes to getting a loan to help them grow and create new jobs.

Robert Villarreal (far left), Executive Vice President for CDC Small Business Finance, offers testimony at CFPB hearing.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) this week in Los Angeles held a public hearing to identify the financing needs of traditionally underserved small businesses.

“There’s a gap between the loan requirements of for-profit lenders and the characteristics of many minority-owned small businesses,” said Robert Villarreal, executive vice president for economic development for CDC Small Business Finance, who testified at the CFPB hearing. “Issues such as credit score, financial documentation, smaller dollar requests all come into play when small business owners are considered for a loan, and often declined.”

Villarreal said what many small business entrepreneurs need is technical assistance, or business advice, often only offered by mission-based lenders. He said they need someone who will take the time to answer basic questions about credit eligibility. He also advocated for the implementation of Rule 1071 from the Dodd-Frank Act, which requires financial institutions to compile, maintain and report information about their applications for loans from small businesses, including those owned by women and minorities.

Based on publicly available data, there are 9.8 million businesses owned by women and 7.9 million businesses owned by minorities in the U.S.

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act requires the CFPB to collect data about small business lending to help identify needs and opportunities in the market and facilitate enforcement of fair lending laws. The goals of the CFPB inquiry are to determine (1) what defines a small business, (2) what institutions lend to small businesses and what products are offered, and (3) what types of business lending information are used by financial institutions

Posted on 5/12/2017