Everybody’s Business

June 22, 2010

Lending to the Max: Why Small Businesses Need Flexible Financing Options

By Frank Altman

In this challenging economic environment, when small business owners are ready to move to a whole new level, they need adequate financing tailored to their needs.

They need "lending to the max" - CRF's kind of lending. CRF fills the gap where banks leave off and provides capital that's otherwise not available - at a level that can make a significant difference to a small business.

It can mean the difference between leasing and buying a building and making needed renovations. Between "making do" with old, inefficient processes, and buying new, state-of-the-art equipment. Between just staying afloat and breaking away from the pack to become the market leader.

Take CRF's clients, Jose and Noemi Payan, for example. The classic example of the American dream, the Payans first worked in low-wage restaurant jobs after immigrating to Minneapolis from Mexico. At one point, they saw the need for fresh corn tortillas in a city whose Latino population was growing rapidly and thus began their business, Tortilleria La Perla.

When the Payans' thriving tortilla operation needed new space and equipment capable of producing several hundred tortillas an hour, they didn't qualify for traditional financing. And the cost - about $400,000 - was way above a typical microloan. Rather, they needed adequate capital to enable them to grow their business to the level it's at today.

So CRF and its lending partner, the City of Minneapolis Department of Community Planning and Economic Development, lent the Payans what they needed to expand.

Now, the Payans have three locations and a fleet of delivery trucks. They have about 50 employees, mostly from the local Hispanic community. And they sell more tortillas than anyone else in the city of Minneapolis.

CRF and its lending partners have repeated this small business success story in hundreds of communities across the USA. Watch this site for more stories documenting compelling community impacts.

Posted by: CRFUSA

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