Dreams Do Come True With a Little Help From SBA

Pete Morones, a bilingual clinical psychologist, didn’t have to think twice about buying a building to house his office. It made sense to purchase a building for his practice rather than continuing to pay rent. Morones now owns his own office building and rents out space to others. Most people aspire to own a building for the same reason they aspire to own a home; they are more in control of the use and the cost. Evergreen Business Capital helped Morones buy his own real estate through the Small Business Administration's 504 loan program. “Morones needed $370,000 to buy the building — at a time when the economy was tanking and banks just didn't want to lend," recalls Evergreen Senior Loan Officer Lori Milton.

Morones is a business banking client with Bank of America. Lori Milton asked the bank to loan Morones the money for his building. The bank funded Morones $250,000, Evergreen funded $83,000 and Morones came up with the rest.

Proceeds from 504 loans must be used for fixed asset projects such as: purchasing land and improvements, including existing buildings, grading, street improvements, utilities, parking lots and landscaping; construction of new facilities, or modernizing, renovating or converting existing facilities; or purchasing long-term machinery and equipment.

Typically, a 504 project includes a loan secured with a senior lien from a private-sector lender covering up to 50 percent of the project cost, a loan secured with a junior lien from the Certified Development Company like Evergreen Business Capital (backed by a 100 percent SBA-guaranteed debenture) covering up to 40 percent of the cost, and a contribution of at least 10 percent equity from the small business being helped. To be eligible, the business must be operated for profit and fall within the size standards set by the SBA. Under the 504 Program, the business qualifies as small if it does not have a tangible net worth in excess of $8.5 million and does not have an average net income in excess of $3 million after taxes for the preceding two years. Loans cannot be made to businesses engaged in speculation or investment in rental real estate.

"Because we allow business owners to get into a loan with only 10 percent down, it helps them hold onto their working capital and helps them to purchase their existing rental building if the building owner suddenly offers it up," Milton said. "Most banks want 25 to 30 percent down on a building, and that’s a lot of money if you’re not actively saving money for the purchase."

“Evergreen made it possible for us to finance our project; something we had been working on for some time. Ms. Milton went above and beyond to assist us with securing financing as we encountered unforeseen obstacles in the current market,” said Morones.




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