Pro-Glo Auto Finish and Glass Inc. is a family owned and operated auto body repair shop in South Carolina. William and Kitty Caples founded the small business in 1981. Pro-Glo is a full service shop with direct relationships with major insurance providers. Employing a staff of certified technicians, Pro-Glo repairs twenty to over seventy vehicles each week.
The busy business needed funds to shore up cash flow and buy new equipment. The small business also needed to refinance a high interest rate commercial real estate loan with a balloon payment coming due. SmartBiz was able to assist them on both fronts.
Mellody Brown, Pro-Glo’s assistant manager and accounting manager since 2001, took the lead on working with SmartBiz. She discovered SmartBiz via a marketing mailer and knew that an SBA loan would be a good fit to spark growth and savings.
Brown began the prequalification process online and was quickly working closely with SmartBiz team members to facilitate the first SBA loan. There were several areas where she needed guidance.
“My SmartBiz Relationship Manager helped me understand difficult tasks like projections,” she says. “I was doing it wrong and they educated me.”
In 2015, the business acquired an SBA loan of $150,000 with a low interest rate, a 10-year term and a monthly payment of just $1,684.20.
“After I discovered that SmartBiz was so easy to work with, we looked at our mortgage that had a balloon payment every 5 years,” Mellody says. “The original mortgage was through a local bank that we’d been with for years. However the bank was bought out two times and it was aggravating trying to work with them.”
SmartBiz was not offering commercial real estate loans when working with Pro-Glo the first time. However, that changed in 2016 as SmartBiz began facilitating 7a loans for purchase or refinance of 51% owner occupied properties. SmartBiz now offers commercial real estate SBA loan amounts from $100,000 up to 5 million.
A SmartBiz Relationship Manager contacted Mellody and they began working together again to refinance Pro-Glo’s expensive mortgage.
The SmartBiz team helped the Caples take their maturing 5-year loan and turn it into an affordable 25-year fully amortizing solution. Along with the refinance of the property, the SBA loan proceeds were used to refinance existing small business debt. This helped cash flow, putting the Caples in a much stronger financial position.
“The refinance was an easy process and will really help us improve cash flow. We’re not facing any future balloon payments. It’s a big relief,” Mellody says. The total loan was for $620,000 with monthly payments of just $4,089.95.
SmartBiz has now provided a total of $770,000 in two SBA loans to this small business owner, helping with cash flow and savings.
“My loan representative taught me a lot. She was very knowledgeable about the market and helped me understand the red tape,” says Brown.
Like many other borrowers, the most challenging part of the loan process was getting together all of the required information. “We’re a family owned business and needed to keep the personal records from the business records. Now it’s all straightened out.”
When asked if she would recommend SmartBiz for a commercial real estate loan, she responds firmly, “Yes I would! The SmartBiz representatives were a lot of help. They were very friendly and helped guide me through the loan process.”
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