Sustainable Financing for Small Business
By Terry Crispen
Going green and recycling may be old concepts but that does not diminish their effectiveness in helping to achieve sustainability. Oftentimes, we only associate sustainability with the environment, but sustainability is much more than that. Sustainability is what should drive business decisions today and into the future. The Great Recession, largely caused by markets that were unsustainable, dealt a blow to consumers and businesses. Analysts estimate that more than 170,000 small businesses ceased operations during the Great Recession. Now that the economy is rebounding, it is more important than ever for small business owners to remain focused on sustainability.
Today, alternative online lenders are the new rage in the financial world. They promise speed and often deliver in three days or less. The temptation is great for small businesses to access funds in such a short period of time. But are they making a sustainable business decision? Once interest rates reach the 20%-40% range, the cost of getting access to fresh capital severely limits a company’s ability to perform and grow long term. Although alternative online lenders offer quick access to capital, the high interest costs make the solution unsustainable for many businesses.
Celtic Bank, a nationwide SBA Preferred Lender, is embracing the sustainability challenge in ways that benefit both small businesses and the environment! We introduced an online lending platform for our Express Loan product to reduce the amount of paper consumed by eliminating the need for a printed application. Electronic signatures eliminated the need for paper originals. By making these changes, we have significantly reduced our paper and printing costs and decreased the amount of time spent processing a loan! We are now able to fund certain SBA loans in a similar timeframe or a slightly longer timeframe than most alternative online lenders. Furthermore, we offer low interest rates based on the Wall Street Journal Prime which means small businesses have more working capital for their business operations.
Moving forward, we are committed to looking for sustainable ways to shorten the loan process and provide our small business borrowers with access to working capital at a lower cost. By doing so, our small business borrowers will have more time to spend running their business and taking care of their most valuable resources: their employees, their products, and their own ideas for sustainability!
For more information about Celtic Bank’s Express Loan, please visit: www.celticbank.com/express.
Terry Crispen Bio:
Terry Crispen is the Vice President of Celtic Bank’s Express Loan Department in Panama City Beach, Florida. Terry has over 15 years of commercial lending experience in conventional and government programs. Terry holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Auburn University and is a current member of NAGGL’s Region IV Liaison Committee.