now browsing by category
Cybersecurity is a term more businesses are familiarizing themselves with. With more work and communication happening through the use of email and the internet, cybersecurity is becoming a key factory, when considering how to protect your business.
Many businesses and employees know that you should be careful about emails you open. They set-up spam filters to help trap the risk before it reaches the reader. Then there are passwords and restrictive usage systems created to help minimize risk and damage, should something take place. This is a great place to start.
Even doing a quick search on the common forms of “hacks” you get an overload of information. Whether the hack is to gain personal or proprietary information or hinder productivity and disable the company, the results are the same, it is damaging and costly to repair.
October is Cybersecurity Awareness month, so we ask, do you have the tools to protect your company? Do you carry cybersecurity insurance? Do you know the most common ways hackers tend to attack? For example, have you ever heard of a “ransomware”? This is when information is encrypted and user access is denied. The hacker puts a “ransom” on the files, so that the company pays to get their information back.
There is a silver lining, Colorado is a leader in cybersecurity, Colorado is the home to over 90 cybersecurity enterprises between Colorado Springs and the Denver Metro area. In March, Governor John Hickenlooper stopped by the Wilson Center, a Washington, D.C. think tank, to discuss the efforts Colorado is making to address increased cyber threats, promote innovation and education well as improve response time to cyber threats.
We encourage all our clients to take steps to protect your cyber network and educate yourself and your staff about common threats. You never know when or how you’ll be attached.
For more information regarding the Governors discussion please visit the recording from the Wilson Center: Wilson Center – Cybersecuirty Innovation its the States Stupid
There is a BIG – GREEN secret within the world of Commercial Real Estate financing. Most of you probably know about the SBA 504 Loan Program which is used by small businesses purchasing owner occupied commercial real estate and administered by Certified Development Companies (CDCs). What most of you probably don’t know is that there are incentives for those businesses able to achieve GREEN Initiatives. What incentives you ask? How about qualifying for more money. $5.5 million PER PROJECT in fact. So how does one qualify for more money? Well that’s exactly what we’re here to talk about.
First Things First
To qualify for the additional moneys available within the SBA 504 loan program, you need to first qualify for an SBA 504 Loan. With an SBA 504 loan, up to $5 million total can be lent. Both SBA 504 loans and SBA 7a loans count towards this total. This is why qualifying for $5.5 million PER PROJECT is a great option for businesses such as those that will have or currently have multiple locations, those wanting financing for large projects or those that just want to have less of an impact on the environment.
Public Policy Goals
Once you know that you qualify for an SBA 504 loan, let’s see if you qualify for the $5.5 million per project. To qualify for the additional per project money a company must meet 1 of 3 Public Policy goals outlined by SBA. Those Public Policy goals are –
- Reduction of energy consumption by at least 10%. This Public Policy Goal is a great option for those businesses looking to upgrade and replace a current facility, to a more energy efficient one that reduced their energy consumption by the required 10% within the same local area.
- Increased use of sustainable design. An example of meeting this Public Policy Goal would be a business building a structure with low impact materials.
- Plant, equipment and process upgrades of renewable energy sources. This 3rd Public Policy Goal is where such items as solar panels would fit in. An example of this would be if a business was purchasing a building and wanted to also include solar panels that would create its own electricity.
For any Public Policy Goal that is met, SBA does require supporting documentation through either an energy audit, engineering report or other professional evaluations deemed appropriate by SBA. These reports would be submitted to SBA at the time your CDC submits your loan request for approval.
So to recap, by meeting and achieving 1 of the 3 Public Policy goals above a business qualifies for $5.5 million PER PROJECT by the GREEN Initiative portion of the SBA 504 Loan Program. Some important things to keep in mind are first, a business needs to be eligible for an SBA 504 loan before they can meet any Public Policy Goals and second, for any Public Policy Goal met there needs to be supporting documentation provided.
Think SBA 504’s GREEN Initiative option is right for you? Find your local CDC (Certified Development Company) for more information.
By Stephanie Gerringer, Executive Director
SBA 504 Refi Program is Back!
So it is FINALLY BACK!!! The SBA 504 refinance Bill, also known as the Commercial Real Estate and Economic Development Act of 2015 (simply the CREED Act) or part of the Omnibus Bill. I don’t care what you call it, or how it got passed frankly, I am just thankful that it did! This is one heck of a Holiday gift! The Omnibus Bill that passed on December 18th, includes a provision to reauthorize the 504 refinance program at $7.5 Billion to help business owners refinance their existing commercial mortgages and to increase their availability to affordable credit.
I want to give a big round of applause to our trade association NADCO for their undying efforts to advocate and get this permanent 504 debt refinance program into law, as the last time this program was around it was in 2012. There will be a minimum of 4-6 months to issue the regulations and the forms needed to start the program up again and make it functional. As it goes, there are several additional restrictions on the new rules and regulations. NADCO is already working with the powers that be within SBA to help expedite the process and work on those boundaries. The bottom line is this, at least there is something to work towards.
Currently, the 504 program only allows for acquisition loans of new projects: land and construction, property itself or heavy duty equipment. The reenactment of the refinance bill will dramatically increase the number of loans that can be made and allow banks the opportunity to partner with SBA/ Certified Development Companies (CDC’s) the liaison for such 504 loans radically. The benefit to the 504 loan new or refinance product is the fixed rate loan and long amortization.
In 2012 when the bill originally expired, it was reported to have helped refinance $5 billion of debt for small businesses throughout the U.S. We’re excited for the potential to exceed that number with the reinstatement of the program. Stay tuned for updates on this topic from the “Preferred Team”.
Sharing Sheila’s Sack was created by Debi Sena after she met Sheila during the NADCO training session they were both in attendance. Sheila worked with another CDC doing what Preferred Lending Partners does, distributing and servicing SBA 504 Loans. Sheila shared some of her life experiences with Debi which moved Debi and inspired her to create Sharing Sheila’s Sack. Here is Sheila’s story:
Sheila led a pretty good life, living within her means, enjoying biking and other activities. One day she was riding her bike on a mountain side, she was giving the driver of a truck plenty of space to go around her, but for some reason she still ended up being hit by the Truck. The truck drove away and left her injured and alone until another motorist stopped to assist her. Due to the extensive amount of medical bills, Sheila ended up homeless, living out of her car and relying on the generosity of food banks and similar services to get her by.
Once Sheila was able to, she started buying one item to put in a grocery sack, each time she went to the store. Eventually the sack filled and she took it to the food bank, to help others just as she has been helped. She continues to do this, slowing filling a grocery sack with food and donating it each time it fills.
Debi was so moved by this story she started “Sharing Sheila’s Sack”. This is a movement, expanding Sheila’s reach. If each person took one of the green Sharing Sheila’s Sacks and slowly filled sit with one item each time they went grocery shopping, the amount of food that could be collected would be remarkable.
So in this season of giving, PLP and LPS are asking you to get involved. We’ll bring you a Sack to fill and are even willing to come back to collect it when it is full. The food collected will go to two local food banks, Food Bank of the Rockies and Bienvenidos Food Bank. We’ll be hosting our food drive until January 29th, there are three options to donate. First you may call to schedule a drop off and/or pick up (303) 861.4100 of Sheila’s Sack. Second, you may drop of your donations off at our location at 140 East 19th Ave, Suite 202, Denver, CO 80203. Third you can take your donations in to any food bank, church, neighbor or friend in need that you would like. We’ll be doing a recognition page on our social media in January thanking everyone for their involvement, if you choose to participate using option three please let us know where you send you donations.
We appreciate you taking the time whether through your company or personally, to fill Sheila’s Sack with a little bit of love for those that could use a helping hand.