6 Things We’re Grateful for This Thanksgiving
November 20, 2021
Thanksgiving is synonymous with roasted turkey, waistline-busting side dishes and travel to see loved ones. But let’s not forget why we gather for this annual celebration: to express our gratitude.
Over nearly four decades, FE Small Business Finance — a small business lender and non-profit organization — has provided more than $13 billion in funding to entrepreneurs, creating or preserving 180,000-plus jobs.
Reaching those milestones would not have been possible without our trusted partners at our side. This Thanksgiving, we’d like to recognize their hard work and collaboration.
We admire how they take the extra step to help their clients get access to the capital they need even when they aren’t able to provide it themselves.
While small business borrowers can come directly to FE to inquire about loans, most are referred to us by commercial bankers. Banks unable to extend credit to businesses often send clients to FE for potential funding because FE has more flexible lending guidelines. (More on that later.)
Referred clients who end up obtaining loans from FE can maintain their accounts and relationships with their bank. A firm believer in win-win deals, FE often refers these clients back to the bank if the business expands and needs more credit.
Bankers also play an integral role in SBA 504 loans. Proceeds from these loans can be used to buy real estate and major equipment. Our banking partners finance at least 50 percent of each project’s total cost while FE provides up 40 percent through an SBA-guaranteed loan. Thanks to this partnership, the borrower only has to put down 10 percent compared to about 30 percent in a typical, traditional loans.
2. Commercial real estate brokers
As brokers get to know their clients, they become deeply invested in their entrepreneurial goals and dreams. We appreciate the effort they put into ensuring small business owners are set up for success.
These allies work closely with customers to locate and lock in their ideal commercial properties — whether it’s a first location or an upgrade from their current space. Our broker partners are experts in their territories and tireless negotiators to get their clients the best deals.
Brokers also play a crucial role in helping their clients find financing, especially if there’s trouble obtaining private lending. In these cases, they can refer these clients to FE Small Business Finance for assistance. We can pre-qualify those clients for SBA 504 financing within 24 hours and coordinate the loan process with the client’s choice of bank — or use our network of banking partners to identify the right match.
3. The SBA
We appreciate the U.S. Small Business Administration for having the foresight and faith in small business owners to create strong, sustainable programs dedicated to improving access to capital, creating jobs and supporting economic development.
Thanks to SBA loan guarantees, FE and other nonprofit lenders are able to approve borrowers who’ve been turned down for traditional financing.
To clarify, SBA does not make the loan directly to borrowers. Rather, they guarantee, or back, a portion of the lender’s loan. That means if the borrower defaults, the federal agency pays off the guaranteed portion of the loan balance.
This arrangement is beneficial for several parties. FE and other nonprofit lenders have more flexibility to approve a wider range of borrowers, which leads to more jobs created and economic development. The guarantee and FE’s participation are appealing to bankers because their risk is mitigated. Another win-win.
In fiscal 2021, the SBA approved more than 68,000 loans in the 7(a) and 504 loan programs, providing over $30 billion to small businesses nationwide.
4. SBDCs (Small Business Development Centers)
These providers of free- or low-cost training and business advising to aspiring and early-stage entrepreneurs also deserve special recognition. Their dedication to educating and readying individuals for small business ownership leads to jobs, which bolsters economic development.
While SBDCs do not provide financing, they do help entrepreneurs develop their financial strategies, from creating business plans to formulating projections. Once clients are deemed ready to pursue their business dreams, SBDCs often refer them to lenders such as FE for start-up financing. FEs can also refer potential clients to SBDCs for coaching to try to get them loan-ready.
The impact and reach of SBDCs, partly supported by the SBA, is great. There are 1,000 locations throughout the nation, including California, Arizona and Nevada.
5. Trade organizations
We want to give them a big thank you for their unflagging advocacy for small business owners and giving them a voice in policy discussions.
FE would like to give a shout-out to industry trade groups like NADCO (National Association of Development Companies), NAGGL (National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders) and OFN (Opportunity Finance Network.) We are proud members of all three!
Such groups help our executive team and staff stay informed on the latest policy and industry news through helpful trainings, newsletters and conferences. Participation in these associations also helps us stay connected with other mission-driven, non-profit lenders.
6. Small business owners
Last but not least, FE Small Business Finance would like to recognize the hard work of small business owners — truly the backbone of the U.S. economy. They are 28 million strong…and growing.
Since 1978, we have had the privilege to help over 11,000 entrepreneurs obtain financing so they can realize their dreams. They’re U.S.-based manufacturers, medical-care providers and craft brewers, among other professions.
We thank them for their business and salute their grit as they navigate the ups and downs of owning and operating their own companies.
We wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, and a safe and wonderful holiday season!
Want to learn more about how FE and their partners can help you? Tell our loan experts about your business, and they’ll work to match you with a financing plan that best suits you.