SNAP commercial loan volume hits record year > Spokane Journal of Business

Increased demand for financial assistance at SNAP Financial Access led to a record $1.1 million in loans last year.

Karen Campbell, the organization’s director of financial stability, said it could reach another record deal volume this year.

SNAP Financial Access has so far loaned about $700,000 to 14 companies, she said. An additional $100,000 has been approved for her and is expected to be funded by the end of the year.

“And we have enough in the pipeline to say with confidence that we will meet or exceed our lending targets for last year and this year,” adds Campbell.

SNAP Financial Access is a community development finance institution (CDFI) that provides technical and financial assistance to small businesses and start-ups in Spokane County, as well as other businesses in eastern Washington.

SNAP Financial Access, a division of Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners, offers funding opportunities as well as technical assistance through business development classes, workshops, and one-on-one coaching.

“What we try to do is build the capacity of people who have never borrowed money or started a business before, through the technical assistance programs we offer. We will continue to provide technical assistance throughout the life of the loan to ensure its success,” Campbell said. “It makes good business sense to make sure we pay back so we can lend to the community in perpetuity. That’s our goal as CDFI.”

Small business loans range from $500 to $150,000. Campbell explains.

She said the average loan amount for the first 10 months of 2022 will be about $46,000, which is the same as last year’s average loan amount.

Loans funded so far this year range from about $20,000 to about $140,000, with loan terms typically lasting 36 to 60 months, she said.

Campbell said he noticed rising interest rates were impacting corporate loan requests, and companies were prioritizing equipment purchases that could boost their income.

She said current interest rates vary widely between loan programs.

No defaults were reported in this year’s and last year’s SNAP, which Campbell said is well below the CDFI’s acceptable standards.

She attributes the zero default rate to SNAP’s help in mitigating defaults and funding from the federal coronavirus relief package known as the CARES Act.

“All clients who had existing (American Small Business Association-backed) microloans in 2020 and 2021 received additional payments from SBA on their behalf as part of the CARES funding. So not only have our borrowers stabilized, but so has our portfolio as an SBA microlender.”

Campbell says this has been a huge help, with some companies being able to receive help for over six months.

Instead of the borrower paying the loan to SNAP, SBA paid the loan so the borrower could reinvest in the business to weather the pandemic, she said.

“It was a stroke of shine that I didn’t think was coming, and it really made a huge difference,” she says.

Campbell said one of SNAP’s priorities is to enable companies to enter banking through traditional banking sources. She says companies that use SNAP for financial assistance can show traditional lenders that the company can repay them.

Lenders will also consider other assistance SNAP offers to businesses, she said.

“We also built the system and provided support for it to be successful, which I think is appealing to traditional banking sources,” she says.

SNAP helps build a navigable and convenient accounting system for businesses and helps create web presences and online payment portals for businesses. Both can help strengthen a company’s demand for bank loans.

Campbell says SNAP’s help will also help new businesses increase their chances of securing leases with landlords.

“If a property owner is unfamiliar with them, just knowing that they have technical assistance from SNAP and a loan from us, they will be able to offer their suggestions when they want to sign a lease. Because the landlord knows we’re there…at every step,” she says.

Campbell said SNAP will not provide assistance on its own. The nonprofit also relies on partnerships with the Northwest Business Development Association, SBA, Washington Small Business Development Center, City of Spokane, and Spokane County for referrals, some sources of funding, and for program needs. doing.

“To be a Community Development Finance Institution, this initiative needs everyone moving in the same direction,” she explains.

Companies may turn to SNAP multiple times for financial assistance. Campbell said startups typically have difficulty obtaining traditional funding, in which case SNAP may be able to provide additional funding.

“It could be an industry that traditional banks don’t want to fund,” she says. “They may still have some roadblocks in their credit score, so they will come back to us. We will look into lending, especially if she is turned down by the bank for SBA microloans. ”

Campbell says SNAP helps at every stage of business planning.

“If you’re not ready to rent, I’ll help you get ready. When you’re ready to rent, I’m here,” she says. “Support services and technical assistance are available for the life of the loan to ensure our customers’ success.”

Spokane Neighborhood Action Partners provides affordable housing in addition to providing financial and technical assistance to small businesses and start-ups through SNAP Financial Access. Assistance with down payment, energy, and essential home repairs. Housing and Foreclosure Protection Loans. Education and counseling for homebuyers and energy conservation. Women’s business centers that provide homeless outreach, business consulting, training and fundraising.

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