Capital Access helps businesses affected by North Bay wildfires get back on their feet

Just a little over a year ago, Sonoma, Napa, Lake, and Mendocino counties suffered a devastating series of tragedies when wildfires swept through the community, levelling homes, businesses, and entire neighborhoods. Capital Access has been supporting small businesses in the area for more than 35 years, so we knew we had to do something to help. Our Board of Directors subsequently approved $30K in grants to assist in fire recovery efforts for small businesses in the region, to be distributed through Rotary District 5130 and the Redwood Credit Union Community Fund.

This week, the Rotary club shared a report about how funds from the Business Grant Recovery Program were distributed. All in all, the club provided grants to 274 businesses, for a total of nearly $830,000. Here are just a few of their stories:

  • George Fiori received a grant to support a new marketing strategy for his restaurant, Fiori’s Buns and Burgers.
  • Cary Sauls, owner of Sauls Acousticals, replaced tools and rebuilt his acoustical contracting business.
  • Michelle Sheridan received a check to replace equipment for her family’s
    home-based BBQ catering business.
  • John and Gesine Franchetti, owners of Franchetti’s Wood Fire Kitchen, used their funds implement a new marketing plan for their restaurant and catering business.

“We were so proud to partner with Rotary District 5130 and the Redwood Credit Union Community Fund to do our small part in helping to provide small business owners with the hope and support they needed to get back on their feet,” said Jacklyn Jordan, President and CEO, Capital Access Group.

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 business men 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.