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Supporting Entrepreneurs

supporting-entrepreneurs-2016Do you consider yourself an Entrepreneur?   Are you a person who organizes and manages a business with considerable personal risk? Due to the nature of our business, we work with Entrepreneurs of all kinds.  Some are small business owners that are just getting their business up and running, others are established Entrepreneurs with 10+ years under their belt growing their business and expanding into multiple locations.  In either case the founder/owner(s) still carry significant personal risk if something where to go wrong.  No matter what their business size, all Entrepreneurs have one thing in common.  They are the leaders and motivators of their business.

In SBA’s Fiscal Year 2016 which ended September 30th, program partners helped 182 entrepreneurs and their businesses obtain SBA 504 loan approval.  This was an increase of 13 loans compared to 2015 FY numbers.  In Fiscal Year 2016, Preferred Lending Partners helped 24 entrepreneurs and their business obtain loan approval to finance their own building and other large fixed assets

Some additional fun facts about Colorado’s small business community, were shared by Patti Green from Accutrend Data.  This information is regarding businesses in Colorado in 2014 and 2015, as the 2016 calendar year has not yet wrapped up.

  • New Businesses Registration has increased by 17,422 new businesses in 2015 from 2014
  • In 2015 Colorado reported having 15,489 women owned businesses, this is nearly 5,000 more than 2014
  • Of which 2,473 of them were located in the Denver Metro area.

These leaders often turn to resources for assistance such as websites, trade associations, SBA and other friends and family members that have owned their own ventures.  Utilizing your resources can truly help your business succeed, however, knowing where to turn can sometimes be difficult.  Below is a link to the 50 best websites for entrepreneurs to visit.  We’d like to point out that both SBA and Score program (which we are strongly connected to) are listed as resources.

On November 26, 2016 show your support to fellow entrepreneurs for Small Business Saturday.  Show your local small business owners how much you appreciate what they do!

Job Creation

504 Loan Program and Job Creation

The 504 Loan Program is focused on helping local businesses create and retain jobs.  Over the past 30 years Preferred Lending Partners has partnered with financial institutions to provide 504 funds to Colorado businesses. These funds have helped businesses retain capital, giving them the opportunity to grow and expand.  In turn they are often able to create new jobs.  Two years after a loan funds, we reach out to our borrowers to see how things are going and see if they’ve created jobs.hp_company

The program is also structured to help businesses that might otherwise let jobs go, retain their employees.  When asked how many jobs our borrower, Monarch Pet Products LLC created and/or retained, Alex Mckinnon stated “Without the facility that is being financed by the SBA loan, it is easy to believe that some of those 13 might have been dropped by the company, but impossible to prove.”  As of May 2016, over a period of 2 years, Monarch Pet Products has created 16 jobs.  Per the SBA guidelines they only needed to create 8 new jobs, they were able to do twice the SBA standard.

In the past 30 years Preferred Lending Partners has helped local businesses create over 5,459 jobs.  Supporting local businesses and helping spur job creation is Preferred Lending Partners main goal. Let us help your business grow. Contact Us

Keeping Green In Mind

Being a sustainable business and considering your environmental impact on the world does not have to mean being an environmental activist.  It means breaking down the services your company provides and really considering the environmental impact it has and implementing methods to lesson and/or improve that impact without the need to be radical.IMG_0101

From the beginning Jeff Patch, President of Premium Panels, Inc. has focused on building a company driven to provide customers with the ultimate experience in service and products.  What isn’t as publicized, is the company’s dedication to being Green.  Jeff took the time at the start to consider his products and how his company could be a sustainable company, without impacting quality or service.  A large percentage of all the materials Premium Panels buys is recycled.  Jeff has maintained the mentality that his business should “leave the smallest footprint as possible” from the very beginning and that even the little things can make a difference.

Furthermore, Premium Panels recycles all for their metal scraps from their projects, along with offering their clients the ability to bring their scrap metal to their facility to be recycled.  Jeff explained that “metal can be reused, and reused, it doesn’t need to be new” which allows Premium Panels the opportunity to provide an exceptional product to their clients while keeping Green.

Not only is Premium Panels conscious of their environmental impact, but the product they provide can also help their clients be more sustainable.  Metal roofing has the ability (with proper insulation) to cut a buildings energy bill significantly.  The metal panels reflect the heat back into the atmosphere, unlike tile and asphalt roofing which can trap heat from a hot day for hours after the sun has gone down, hindering the house from quickly cooling off in the evenings.

Green CubeA few years ago, Premium Panels had the opportunity to work with Urban Green Development group on the project, known as The Green Cube home.  It was LEED Platinum certified, and one of the first of its kind in the area.  LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and concentrates its efforts on improving performance across five areas of environmental and human health: energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, materials selection, sustainable site development and water savings.  IMG_0096

Colorado is currently ranked fifth in the nation for LEED green building and with businesses, such as Premium Panels, providing green sustainable products, more of us can keep green in mind whatever our future endeavors may be.

Investing When, Where and Why

With the start of the new year, and the imInvesting (1)minent “tax season” upon us, financial planning is often on the for front of our minds.  Individually, many are thinking of where they are at and what types of investments they may want to make for their futures.  On a larger scale business owners are doing the same thing, evaluating how the previous years turned out and what new ways they can invest, to improve and grow.  No matter the type or size of investing one is looking to get into, it is important to do your research, set clear goals and find trusted resources/partners to assist you with your goals.

Exploring long-term investing we interviewed Michelle Onoda, MBA at Estates Financial Services, for her thoughts on real estate investing.  Michelle specializes in financial planning for both businesses and individuals, and admits that there are benefits as well as clear draw backs to investing in real estate.  Her statements are primarily in residential real estate, however, PLP believes many of the concepts can be applied to commercial real estate.

Many small businesses use the SBA 504 Loan Program to invest in real estate for the long-term.  Businesses use low down payments and fixed interest rates to provide stable grounding for their business operations with potential equity growth and appreciation.  When considering whether to invest in real estate or not the pros can be found in the “hope of potential appreciation in the property; equity build up, tax benefits, and the ability to leverage their money, along with pride of ownership,” Michelle Onoda.

Investing in real estate can be uncomfortable, there are financial commitments with initial down payments, renovation and ongoing maintenance expenses.  However, the long-term return can be significant, especially if planned appropriately.  Here are three statements you may want to consider before spending:

1) Figure out what type of investing you’re looking into doing, long-term or short-term.

2) Determine which investments best match your needs depending on the time you have available to invest.

3) Find the appropriate partners to work with to get you where you want to go.


To reach Michelle Onoda please contact her at 303.948.1102 or by email at

Growing into the New Year

Growing into the New Year

Happiness and Growth

by Megan Jewell

It’s a new year, and small businesses everywhere are assessing how they did last year, determining challenges and setting goals for growth in 2016.  The SBA 504 Loan Program can assist small business owners in four key ways for growth:


  • Invest in Real Estate and Capital Equipment:

Small businesses are able to invest in real estate and capital equipment while safeguarding their working capital.

  • Low Down Payment

Small business are able to take advantage of low down payments, freeing up more working capital

  • Fixed Rate

A fixed rate that doesn’t balloon or adjust helps the small business to prepare for the future without the uncertainty of changing payments.

  • Staple in Community

Having a space to call their own whether it is an entire building or just an office condo stabilizes a business and helps it put roots down in their community.

Being members of the community ourselves, we are dedicated to helping small businesses.  In 2016 Preferred Lending Partners wants to do more to help small businesses and our borrowers grow and flourish.


“It’s our job to enable and keep the small businesses in Colorado permanent fixtures in the community that we live and play in. If they don’t exist, we don’t exist” states Juliene Wynn, Preferred Lending Partners’ Credit Analyst.


We currently assist our borrowers through the SBA loan process and with servicing actions after the loan has funded. We provide webinars and training for our partner lenders, along with links and articles to industry resources. However, there’s so much more we could and would like to do for the small business of Colorado.


What would help you as a small business owner?  What more could we do to be better advocates for you and your business?

Entrepreneurs’ Advice on Growth

Feature Photo_nov2015At an early age, Anthony Lambatos was encouraged and given opportunities to nurture his entrepreneur spirit.  Guided by his father Jimmy, founder of Footers Catering, Anthony learned the ins and outs of running a business and managing money.  Jimmy gave Anthony and his sister opportunities to assist with the family business when they were very young.  In high school Anthony ran his own concession stand as a spin-off of his father’s business.  With little risk to business, Jimmy set up a 30 day contract where his children who became responsible for all the purchasing, hiring and staffing, scheduling, paying the team, ordering the food, buying the food, selling the food and balancing the register.  This experience really got Anthony excited about running a business.

In 2010 Anthony and wife, April Lambatos purchased Footers Catering from Jimmy.  Anthony admits that transitioning a business from one generation to another was extremely difficult.  As he puts it, “it is tough to turn that ship towards a new direction”.  However, he feels very lucky to be able to beat the odds and be a successful second generation family owned business.

Anthony has the following advice for future entrepreneurs:

  • Solicit informational interviews and advice from people that have been there before.

Often the younger generation feels that they “know it all”, and Anthony admits that he was in that category for a certain amount of time, and now understands the value of taking a step back and learning from others on what has been done before.  Then after such reflection, putting your own spin on the business is what will make you a more effective entrepreneur.

  • Surround yourself with great people.

If you hire and surround yourself with great people it makes coming to work more fun.  This will give you a much better opportunity for success.  When Anthony was running the concession stand he was able to hire his friends which made the work fun, teaching him that, “work didn’t have to suck”.  This led to the first line of the Footer’s mission statement.  “Love What We Do”.

  • Be prepared to work really hard.

Often the vision of owning your own business looks so fun and glamorous, you get to make all the decisions be in charge.  This also means you as the owner, carry all of the responsibilities on your shoulders. If something happens in the middle of the night you’re the one that will be getting up to figure it out.

Footers Catering has been highly successful, named Small Business of the year by the South Metro Chamber and Best Caterer in Denver by Colorado Meetings and Events in 2012. They also won Weddingwire Couples Choice Awards in 2015.  Anthony contributes the key to their growth in finding great people to work with; from his amazing partner and wife, April Lambatos (COO), who compliments Anthony’s skill set and manages operations in a way he never could; to working alongside some amazing people that have helped Footers to be successful and are as committed to growing Footers as Anthony is.  Anthony never envisioned he would be able to obtain 20 year fixed rate financing, with only 10% down, while having the flexibility of owning his own facility.