Jacklyn Jordan, President & CEO of Capital Access Group, featured in North Bay Business Journal

Jacklyn Jordan, President & CEO of Capital Access Group, was recently featured in the North Bay Business Journal. A summary of the profile is below, or click here to read the article online.

Significant news at your bank: Capital Access Group was recognized recently as the fastest Certified Development Company (CDC) in California for turnaround times on SBA 504 loan approvals, and in the Top 10 in the entire country, receiving a 4-star rating — the highest rating possible — from the SBA for its work. Capital Access Group turns loans around in almost half the time compared to the national average of all CDCs. In California’s competitive commercial real estate market, quick turnaround time is essential.

Favorite SBA lending story: One of our clients, Marin County-based Equator Coffees & Teas, was named SBA’s national Business Person(s) of the year and the 2016 Small Business of the Year for California. Capital Access Group nominated cofounders, Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell, for the award. We provided SBA 504 financing in 2003 for Equator to purchase its own, 5,500-square-foot roasting plant. We are honored to have played a role in the success of their business.

Calling the decision to purchase “one of the best decisions we’ve ever made,” Helen said Capital Access “made the process very easy, and really walked us through the process. A conventional loan, with a down payment between 20 and 35 percent, would have made it impossible to own.”

Founded in 1995, Equator now has 90 employees, more than 350 wholesale customers – including the renowned French Laundry restaurant in Yountville – and three retail stores in Northern California with two more on the way.

These amazing women have not only created a successful, socially responsible business, they have also helped to influence the trajectory of the coffee industry through their early support of the Fair Trade movement.

Most-inspiring leader: The leaders I admire most are the hardworking small businessmen and women who start and grow their own businesses. We are fortunate to work with some of the most successful small business owners, the ones who are ready to invest in expanding with their own facilities. They work hard every day to drive economic growth, create jobs, and strengthen their communities.

Auxin Solar, Inc. creates “room to grow” with $10.2 million SBA 504 loan from Capital Access Group

Auxin Solar, a leading manufacturer of U.S.-made solar panels, solar mounting racks, and solar energy-producing systems, now has room to grow, thanks in part to a $10,206,540 million SBA 504 loan from Capital Access Group. The 504 loan helped Auxin Solar, Inc. to purchase a 99,576 sq. ft. building located at 6835 Via Del Oro, San Jose, CA.

“We were leasing a 27,000 sq. ft. facility, but the business is growing very rapidly, and we recognized that a year down the road we would need a larger facility,” said Mamun Rashid, co-founder, Auxin Solar. “Owning the building allows us to make infrastructure improvements, plus we are now free to install our own solar system technology to power ourselves. The building will also allow for expansion without having to relocate. Essentially the facility allows us room to grow for the future.”

Auxin currently has 90 employees with expansion plans that will support the creation of approximately 40 new jobs at the new facility.

“Auxin Solar is such an exciting business, and we are proud to partner with them to provide 504 financing that will facilitate the creation of dozens of new jobs,” said Cara Rudy, Vice President, Capital Access Group. “Owning the building instead of leasing will help the company control costs because they don’t have to worry about lease expenses going up, plus they can make significant infrastructure investments that wouldn’t have been possible in a lease situation.”

“Cara (Rudy) from Capital Access Group worked with us every step of the way,” said Sherry Tai, co-founder, Auxin Solar. “There is a lot of paperwork, and it’s intimidating for a company like ours in the early stages of growth, but Cara held our hand through the whole thing.”

“The SBA 504 program is a great example of a government program that works. It goes directly to the bottom line, and it creates jobs,” said Tai.

Click here to read the full story.

Equator Coffees & Teas named 2016 NATIONAL Small Business of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration in an awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. with Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet!

This morning, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet named Equator Coffees & Teas co-founders Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell the 2016 National Small Business of the Year! This is the first time an LGBT-owned business has won the award.

“It is my extreme pleasure and honor to announce that business partners Brooke McDonnell and Helen Russell from Equator Coffees & Teas headquartered in San Rafael, California are this year’s national Small Business Person(s) of the Year,” said SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “Helen and Brooke purchased their own roasting plant using an SBA 504 loan. They have worked diligently with their farmers for 17 years and were one of the first roasters to support the Fair Trade movement to gain better wages for growers.”

Capital Access Group nominated Helen and Brooke for the Small Business of the Year award based on the SBA 504 loan the women received in 2003 to purchase their own 5,500-square-foot roasting plant in San Rafael. Helen calls it “one of the best decisions that we’ve ever made.”

“Helen and Brooke are two of the most inspirational small business owners we’ve ever had the privilege of working with, and we are extremely proud of their success,” said Jacklyn Jordan, President and CEO, Capital Access Group. “Helen and Brooke have built a successful, socially responsible business with 90 employees, more than 350 wholesale customers, and three retail stores in Northern California with two more on the way.”

Here are just a few of Equator’s milestones:

  • First U.S. coffee roaster to become a certified B Corporation
  • Early supporter of the Fair Trade Certified label
  • Certified LGBT-owned business by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC)
  • Member of the Golden Gate Business Association
  • Included in the SF Business Times’ Top 100 Women-Owned Businesses 12 years in a row
  • Ranked No. 6 in the SF Biz Times’ first-ever Top 25 LGBT-owned businesses in the Bay Area

Read the Administrator’s press release here.

SBA Administrator visits Equator’s Market Street location for press conference

Having won the SBA’s Small Business of the Year Award for the state of California last month, the SBA Administrator, Maria Contreras-Sweet, presented Helen Russell and Brooke McDonnell, co-founders of Equator, with the award for National Small Business of the Year earlier in the week in Washington, D.C., kicking off National Small Business Week.

The Administrator again recognized this amazing achievement and the historic milestone that the win represents, as the first LGBT business to win the award in the SBA’s history.

Administrator Contreras-Sweet called Helen and Brooke “impact entrepreneurs” as she presented them with the SBA award on behalf of President Barack Obama at their Market Street location on Friday, May 6.

“We wanted to close out National Small Business Week celebrating entrepreneurs with a double bottom line, those who make an impact. It’s important to make a profit, but it’s more important to make a difference in a community,” she said.

Our CEO, Jacklyn Jordan, spoke about how honored we are to be a part of Equator’s growth and success, and congratulated them on this amazing and historic achievement.