Businesses in Central Valley find expansion aid through Success Capital

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From left, Laurie Avey, Marsha Carr and Beatrice Perez comprise the team at Success Capital in Modesto.

MODESTO—Growing a business can be tricky. Thanks to organizations like Success Capital, expanding a location or opening a second or even third shop is possible.

For the past 32 years, Success Capital has helped more than 400 businesses secure more than $292 million in loans to help with expansion projects and other growth-related funding.

“Occasionally we get a few people looking for small equipment, which we also do, like a revolving loan fund, but only in Stanislaus County,” said Marsha Carr, president and CEO of Success Capital. “For the most part it’s someone who wants to expand or they want to exchange a lease payment for a mortgage payment.”

Located in Modesto, Success Capital isn’t necessarily limited by the boundaries of Stanislaus County in the businesses they serve.

“[Clients aren’t] just in Stanislaus County, but in Merced, San Joaquin and beyond,” said Claudia Newcorn, the president of Acorn Enterprises, a marketing consultancy group that is working to help Success Capital reach more clients.

It’s making business owners aware of their options that’s been Success Capital’s biggest hurdle. Many times, small businesses struggle with how to grow or purchase their own property.

“The hardest thing has been getting out there to businesses to let them know you can pretty much exchange your lease payment for a mortgage payment, especially in today’s rate environment, as long as the rates stay low,” Carr said. “If they find us on their own and not from a referral from someone else, it’s because they’ve searched for [Small Business Administration] loans and they found our name, or they called the district office and they referred them to us.”

Though sizes of the businesses vary, Success Capital serves small business enterprises, which means any business with a net worth of less than $15 million and net income after taxes of $5 million or less, Carr said.

Examples of Success’ success stories include the recent approval of five SBA 504 loans totaling $5.8 million to help fund the construction of Marriot Residence Inn Hotel in Modesto. The ground-up build has helped create 23 new jobs.

On the smaller end of the spectrum (yet no less important) was the purchase of property to help sustain a family business. Fagundes Brothers Quality Meats, a long-time staple in the Manteca community, recently sought Success Capital’s help in purchasing the building it occupied. Buying the property helped Fagundes to stabilize its expenses.

Even when it comes to expanding to a new location, the organization can help. Fun Sport Bikes in Modesto was growing beyond its walls and needed a bigger space to serve customers. Through a $995,000 SBA 504 loan, the business was able to build an entirely new location that would allow them the space to help an ever-increasing customer base.
“Marsha has worked with companies that are as small as onsie-twosies, all the way up,” Newcorn said. “What amazes me … is the diversity of the client base.”

Newcorn went on to say that the clients range from trucking companies and mechanics to veterinarians and car washes.

Success Capital specializes in the 504 loans, Carr points out, because it comes with a fixed rate, which is advantageous for the small business that needs to keep their budget under control.

If, for some reason, a business begins to fall behind or “slide” on its loan repayment, Success Capital will work with it to make sure they’re able to meet their obligation.
It’s not only business expansion that Success Capital, a nonprofit, can help with. In some cases, it can help resurrect a business.

“We had a project in Ceres, and it was a restaurant that had been out of business for a number of years. It left a big hole in the community because they had a community room there that they used,” Carr said. “We had a borrower willing to buy it and put some extra work into it.”

The borrower didn’t meet the criteria for a 504 loan, Carr said, but Success Capital was able to work with the bank and other entities to get the loan moved forward. It’s what Carr calls “community lending.”

“It was real helpful. The restaurant’s been a success,” Carr said. “They’re busy all the time.”

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