Nonprofit helps small businesses in Charlotte grow with access to loans

V.O.I.C.E. Therapeutic Solutions
October 10, 2019

The Business Expansion Funding Corporation loans money to small businesses looking to buy property or new equipment.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte nonprofit that makes it easier for small businesses to get loans says the money is flowing faster than ever thanks to unprecedented growth. Now they’re just hoping inflation doesn’t slow things down.

After 24 years in the same building in Charlotte, Tom Kepper’s business was bursting at the seams – with work even being done in the parking lot.

“We could not have met our customer’s demand in our previous building,” Kepper said.

Pinnacle Converting Equipment makes machinery for products like wet wipes and face masks. Thanks to a special loan, they were in their new building just as the COVID pandemic meant even more customers demanding their products.

Business Expansion Funding Corporation (BEFCOR), a Charlotte nonprofit that works with the Small Business Administration (SBA), loans money to small businesses looking to buy property or new equipment. They offer lower interest rates and lower payments through the 504 loan.

“A business our size, even though we’re profitable and a reasonable size business, still the big banks look at us as a risky proposition so we needed BEFCOR to give us that SBA loan,” Kepper added. “That takes risk away from the large banks.”

Elaine Fairman is the Executive Director at BEFCOR.

“We offer better, more affordable terms to the business, which helps them save their cash and ensure their longevity,” she said.

Greg Simmons is a Loan Officer at BFCOR.

“We’ve been really, really busy,” he said. “It’s been pretty much non-stop business. It’s become quite an important tool.”

For Kepper’s company, the SBA loan was a gamechanger.

“If it wasn’t for that program we would not have been able to move into the building and would not have met our customer’s expectations,” he said.

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