Entrepreneur Taps Home Health Care Financing Expertise to Buy Company
Entrepreneurs entertaining ideas about starting their own business would be smart to put home health care in the mix of possibilities.
Plenty has been written about the aging population of the U.S. In California alone, the number of people over 65 is projected to increase to 8.4 million by 2030, double the number who lived in the state in 2010, according to a Stanford University study. Statistics like these underscore the growing demand and preference for delivering health care services in the home and forecast strong, steady revenue for professional home care companies.
Although the growth projections for home health point upward, the challenges to entering the industry can be formidable. Special licensing and certifications are required and securing financing historically has not been easy.
“Conventional banks don’t rush to provide financing to start-up home care businesses because owners are often in the process of acquiring licensure and need less than $250,000 in operating capital,” said Stacey Sanchez, a home health care loan specialist with mission-based lender CDC Small Business Finance.
Home Health Care Financing Expertise to Fill Funding Gap
After extensive research and trends analysis, CDC Small Business Finance decided to commit resources to develop staff expertise in the home care small business niche to help home care companies grow and create jobs in California, Arizona and Nevada.
“We invested time to develop expertise in the home health industry, including understanding the special challenges entrepreneurs face getting into this business,” said April Lewis, another CDC Small Business Finance home health loan expert. “We now have dedicated underwriters who grasp those challenges and know the liquidity levels needed to hit the ground running when all the licenses and accreditations come through.”
Meet our Home Health Care Loan Specialists:
Stacey Sanchez, BIO
April Lewis, BIO
Merben David, a professional nurse and home health administrator, discovered first-hand the frustrations of securing financing when he decided to acquire Comfort Home Health Care in San Jose from a business associate.
“I spent three months getting my requests for financing denied over and over by banks all over the country,” Merben recalled. “It was very frustrating, but I never gave up. Eventually, a lender in New Jersey of all places told me to call CDC Small Business Finance here in California.”
Financing for Small Business Acquisition
“When I got the news of CDC’s approval, it was like getting to heaven. It was glorious.”
Comfort Home Health Care
After evaluating Comfort Home Health’s strong financials, CDC Small Business Finance approved an SBA Community Advantage loan to finance Merben’s purchase of the company and provide working capital to support marketing and operating expenses. Built into the structure of the loan was the anticipated eight-month wait for the state to transfer the business license to Merben. CDC small Business Finance stayed committed to the process.
“When I got the news of CDC’s approval, it was like getting to heaven,” Merben confided. “They gave me the chance to prove myself. It was glorious.”
Although based in Santa Clara County, Comfort Home Health is now licensed to provide skilled nursing and physical and occupational therapy in homes throughout five additional counties – Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo, San Francisco and Sacramento.
Entrepreneurial Spirit Emerges from Poverty and Determination
Merben’s entrepreneurial spirit was born out of necessity in 1990 when he moved to the United States. Determined to escape the poverty he grew up in, he literally went to the library and scoured a book on professions, which detailed educational requirements and salary expectations. Shortly thereafter, he charted a course in health care and never looked back.
By 1996, he had become an intensive-care respiratory therapist. Five years later he got his nursing license. With 10 years of intensive care experience under his belt, he was hired as director of nursing for Comfort Home Health where he was later promoted to administrator, putting him prime position to take over the company.
Married with four children, Merben and his wife Joanne teach their kids something they call A.Q. – adversity quotient.
“It’s a mentality of not giving up easily,” he said.
When Covid-19 struck, Merben seized the opportunity to get an SBA Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan with the help of CDC Small Business Finance. Then he adopted special strategies to keep his employees and patients as safe as possible amid the pandemic. He personally called referring physicians and reassured them of his company’s dependable care. And consistent with his entrepreneurial DNA, he started a separate, new company to manufacture masks for front-line workers.
“I’m determined to make my companies as successful as possible,” Merben said.
Working with our home health care loan specialists is making all the difference in helping business owners in the industry get the financing they need. Learn more: The Home Health Care Loan. Connect with home health specialists @StaceySanchez, @AprilLewis
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