SBA 504 program helps Steadfast Construction buy a new warehouse space without “breaking the bank”

Capital Access Group (, a commercial real estate lender specializing in U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loans for growing businesses, recently helped Marcus Alvarez and Eric Pestana, the owners of Steadfast Construction, Inc. to purchase a 2,704 square foot warehouse located at 425 Boulder Court, Suite 700, Pleasanton, California. Steadfast currently has 15 employees and expects to double in size within the next two years to a total of 30 employees.

Founded in 2012, Steadfast Construction is a full-service water damage restoration company that provides water damage restoration and mold and sewage remediation services combined with rebuilding services so projects can be completed without any downtime. The company caters to the homebuilding industry and homeownership associations, serving clients along the Route 680 corridor in Pleasanton.

“We’ve always kept our business lean and mean,” said Marcus Alvarez, President, Steadfast Construction, Inc. “We didn’t lease a warehouse until we absolutely needed it, but as soon as we got into the warehouse, we realized we needed even more space, so we started looking around.”

“Many of the spaces we looked at were too big, but then our broker showed us this space, and it was immaculate,” said Alvarez. “It’s the right size, and it’s in the right location — literally right around the corner from our current warehouse.”

There’s “no doubt” that owning a building helps Marcus and Eric feel more secure about the future of their business, according to Alvarez. “My first employer in restoration said, ‘Marcus if you ever go into business, the first thing you do is buy a building and lease it back to the company.’ It was good advice that I’ve been wanting to follow.”

“What the 504 loan enabled us to do was to be able to put ten percent down on a warehouse that wasn’t going to break the bank,” said Alvarez. “The 10 percent down payment was a huge factor for us.”

“It was a pleasure to help Marcus and Eric buy a warehouse and experience the security and stability that building ownership provides,” said Cara Rudy, Vice President, Capital Access Group. “For a low, ten percent down payment, Steadfast now owns an ideal new building in a terrific location that will accommodate the company’s growth plans, which includes adding up to 15 new jobs in the near future.”

“Cara (Rudy) from Capital Access Group was great to work with,” said Alvarez. “She was very nurturing and easy to get along with. It was stressful at times, but Cara was a calming force. I would work with her again.”

Pranger Law, a San Francisco-Based Intellectual Property and Advertising Law Firm, Buys New Office with $1,070,000 SBA 504 Loan Arranged by Capital Access Group

Capital Access Group (, a commercial real estate lender specializing in U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loans for growing businesses, recently helped Holly Pranger, owner of Pranger Law PC, purchase a 1,369-square-foot commercial condominium located at 88 Guy Place, #403, San Francisco, CA. Pranger Law is a premier boutique firm specializing in intellectual property and advertising law. This is the second facility purchased by Pranger Law through the SBA 504 loan program to house this growing business.

Prior to purchasing its own office space, Pranger Law leased offices in a building with a few other small law firms in San Francisco’s Marina district. Eventually, as Pranger Law expanded, it outgrew the shared facility, and Holly knew it was time to get the firm its own space. Initially, she explored leasing another office, but she was disillusioned by the high prices.

“I upped the budget, and realized that the amount of money I would need to lease a space would be close to a mortgage payment,” said Holly Pranger, Founder, Pranger Law PC.

Holly began the process of searching for an office space to purchase.

Initially, Holly didn’t think she would be able to afford the down payment for a commercial real estate loan, because it would have taken too much cash flow out of the business, but then someone referred her to the SBA.

The SBA 504 program’s low down payment “blew me away,” according to Holly. “When I found out it was only 10% down, I thought, I can swing that. I don’t know if I would have been able to do it if the down payment was 20-30%.”

The SBA 504 program’s low down payment impressed Holly, as did the “fabulous” service she received from Capital Access Group. “The SBA process was quite elegant,” said Holly. “The process was shockingly easy, and the people I worked with were fantastic.”

“We bought our space and made it our own,” said Holly. “When people come to the office, they are impressed and surprised to see the look and feel of the place. It’s very different for a law office.”

When another office condo in the building became available — right on the other side of the wall of Pranger Law’s current space — Holly knew that she couldn’t pass up the opportunity.

“I worked with Capital Access Group twice,” said Holly. “I expected things to be challenging, but the process was pleasant and easy. I would never go back to leasing office space ever again. When we are ready to expand again, I’ll go back to Capital Access and say: Get me another business loan!”

“We were so pleased to help Holly buy her second commercial condo using the SBA 504 loan program,” said Claudia Cohen, SVP, Capital Access Group. “The 504 program was created for business owners just like Holly who realize that, instead of leasing, they can actually own their own space (or two!) and start building equity in the business. We loved working with Holly and we wish her all the best.”

Alan Jung celebrates 20 years at Capital Access Group

Alan Jung, Capital Access Group Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer, recently celebrated his 20th anniversary with the company. We took advantage of the occasion to interview Alan to get his perspective on the SBA 504 program and what he enjoys most about working at Capital Access Group.

Q: Congratulations on your 20th anniversary at Capital Access Group! What were you doing prior to joining CAG?

A: I worked at commercial banks prior to joining Capital Access Group. I’ve always had an interest in financial lending analysis, which is why I had started working with banks.

Q: What positions have you held at Capital Access Group, and what are your current responsibilities?

A: I started as a credit analyst and progressed to my current position. I’m a jack-of-all-trades at our CDC. My primary responsibility is Chief Credit Officer, heading up the underwriting function of the company, but I am also part of the management team responsible for the strategic direction and growth of the CDC.

Q: What gives you satisfaction from working with the 504 program?

A: I think the 504 program is very unique. It offers a great financing solution for business borrowers for the inherent advantages that the 504 provides. The program has progressed over the years to allow larger businesses to benefit from this financing vehicle. My satisfaction comes from being able to watch the progress of borrowers who first utilized the 504 loan for their early facility expansion needs, and to see them grow and come back to us for additional projects.

Q: What are some of your favorite things about working with Capital Access Group?

A: At its core it’s being able to assist our small business borrowers. The way the company is set up allows us to respond more promptly and directly with borrowers. These dynamics have been a good fit for myself and my team members. At the end of the day we feel good when we are integral to helping a small business grow.

There’s also the value-added service that our company provides. We make the effort to really understand the borrower, the borrower’s business, and the unique aspects that need to be weighed or understood relative to their current needs and predicted future performance.

Q: Is there anything else you want to say about your 20th anniversary?

I’m very grateful for the past and continuing opportunities to work with our lending partners, the SBA, and all other parties involved in the 504 transaction to provide financial assistance to small businesses.

The best part of the job—and my true joy of working at Capital Access Group—are the many enduring friendships I’ve made over the years. It’s been a privilege.

Again, congratulations on this amazing milestone. You make us proud.

Win-Win Tech Ventures “gains confidence” with new building purchased in $12.9M financing project

Capital Access Group (, a commercial real estate lender specializing in U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loans for growing businesses, recently helped Win-Win Tek Ventures ( to secure $12,906,365 in financing to purchase a 103,955-square-foot building located at 691 South Milpitas Boulevard, Milpitas, CA. Win-Win Tek Ventures is a cloud and analytics software and IT services company that creates business-ready solutions for a wide range of clients, including Oracle, Salesforce, and many others. Win-Win currently employs 150 people and hopes to create another 150 jobs as a result of the growth enabled by the new building.

“The new building will allow us to consolidate our current operations, expand our business model, and take our organization to the next level,” said Jayaprasad (JP) Vejendla, CEO, Win-Win Tek Ventures. “Having a building will give tremendous confidence to the people who want to work with us. Clients, employees, and business partners will have confidence that we have a long-term strategy.”

Win-Win’s ambitious growth strategy would not be possible without the SBA 504 loan, according to JP.

“The 504 program offers a unique opportunity for companies like ours,” said JP. “This small business loan program allows entrepreneurs like us to scale up to the next level. Frankly, if the 504 program wasn’t available, we would continue running the business as we do now, with no growth, no additional employment, and no contribution to the local economy.”

“We were so pleased to help Win-Win secure the funds they needed to purchase this building,” said Cara Rudy, Vice President, Capital Access Group. “The building will stabilize the business and allow it to scale services, which in turn contributes to the economy. Win-Win projects that it will create up to 150 new jobs as a direct result of this purchase.”

Win-Win is a fan of the SBA 504 program as well as the service provided by Capital Access Group.

“Cara (Rudy) and everyone at Capital Access Group did an amazing job supporting us throughout the process,” said JP. “They were absolutely awesome. It was an incredible experience for us.”

Read the full press release here.

Comfort Inn Taps 504 Refi Program to Reduce Monthly Mortgage Payment and Secure Lower, Long-Term Fixed Interest Rate

Capital Access Group (, a commercial real estate lender specializing in U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loans for growing businesses, recently helped Comfort Inn Red Bluff to obtain $3,690,000 in financing through the SBA’s 504 Refinance Program, which provides borrowers with the cash they need to pay off existing, high-interest debt. The loan will lock in a low, 20-year, fixed interest rate with reduced monthly loan payments, which will help the owners to preserve working capital to invest back into the business.

Comfort Inn Red Bluff is a three-story, 67-room hotel centrally located at 90 Sale Lane, Red Bluff, CA, close to the Sacramento River. The Inn is a gateway to recreational activities in Northern California, and features spacious rooms, balconies, friendly staff, and excellent customer service.

“We have a great property with the largest rooms in Red Bluff,” said Surat (DJ) Deol, co-owner, Comfort Inn Red Bluff. “Our rooms are clean, the customer service is outstanding, and we receive excellent reviews from our guests.”

Comfort Inn Red Bluff’s management team wanted to refinance their debt, because they were “facing a huge balloon payment” with their existing commercial mortgage,” according to DJ.

“The SBA 504 Refinance Program allowed us to reduce our monthly payments, and we now have a lower interest rate and a fixed payment for the 20-year term of the loan,” said DJ. “Now, we’re set, and after 20 years, we’ll have everything paid off.”

“The SBA’s refinance program doesn’t get the attention it deserves,” said Claudia Cohen, Senior Vice President, Capital Access Group. “The program allows businesses like Comfort Inn Red Bluff to refinance high-cost commercial real estate debt to obtain affordable, low-interest loans to refinance existing debt. The program can be used for hotels, office buildings, warehouses, and other commercial property. More small businesses should take advantage of this unique program.”

“My hat’s off to Capital Access Group for their amazing work,” said DJ. “They were on top of everything, and they worked closely with us to make sure we met our deadlines and got all of the paperwork in on time. They did a great job.”

UK Equestrian Stabilizes Business with New Facility with $2.9 Million Project with Capital Access Group

Capital Access Group (, a commercial real estate lender specializing in U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loans for growing businesses, helped UK Equestrian (, to secure $2,932,972 in financing to purchase an equestrian facility located at 18547 Aliso Canyon Rd., in Rancho Santa Fe, CA. Owned and operated by Graeme Dixon. UK Equestrian offers hunter/jumper training and riding lessons from beginner to advanced levels. Graeme, head owner and trainer at UK Equestrian, has been involved in the amateur hunter/jumper circuit in the San Diego area for more than 20 years.

In 2009—burned out from his prior life in the corporate world—Graeme followed his passion as an amateur jumper rider and opened UK Equestrian. He believes that more people need to “come out and be around the horses,” he says. “It’s good for the soul. It’s better than therapy, and it’s something I recommend everybody should try.”

By owning his own property, Graeme can focus on the “joy of running the business,” and growing from two to eight employees, and 20 to 100 horses. He planned for 20 percent growth each year, but he is already at his three-year goal. The new 10-acre property has a farmhouse and includes two 10-stall barns, a 16-stall barn, and two 10-stall motels and 50 outside corrals.

A horse-training facility requires lots of land, and as a business owner, Graeme cannot simply pick up and move if his lease expires. “You work very hard to grow a business, but you always have this cloud above your head–what happens if I’m told I have 60 days to move my business? If that happens, we’re out of business completely.” Because of the 504 loan however, he will be able to consolidate UK Equestrian’s two existing locations in the San Diego County area.

“Now, the possibilities are limitless, said Graeme. “No one can take the business away from me now. I can just grow. Everything I’m putting into it is here to stay.”

Graeme was thrilled with the service he received from Capital Access Group. “The lower down payment makes life easier, which was great, but the real difference is the team at Capital Access. I had a team. They listened to my story, and wanted to make it work for me. It really felt like a joint effort. It was a very positive experience.”

“The SBA 504 loan program is a great resource,” said Graeme. “Business owners need to know that instead of leasing you can buy, and long-term that’s a far better option. You now have an asset.”

“It was a pleasure helping Graeme grow his business with an SBA 504 loan,” said Warren Brazas, Capital Access Group. “There are fewer and fewer facilities that accommodate horses in the area, but Graeme found the ideal facility. He’s already grown from 20-100 horses, and he’s met his three-year projections in just a few months! We hope he will enjoy great success in the new facility.”

To read the full story, click here.

Building a Sustainable Catering Business with a 504 Loan: The Story of Left Coast Catering

Left Coast Catering owner Laurine Wickett loves to create memorable occasions, bringing people together over delicious food. She’s been doing just that for over two decades in San Francisco.

After renting in several different locations, she obtained help with a small business loan through Capital Access Group to buy a building in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood. Laurine was able leverage the SBA 504 program to secure $1,668,872 in total project to purchase a 5,000 square-foot building at 1400 Yosemite Ave.

“I would not have been able to afford to buy a building without the 504 loan,” Laurine said, noting the usual 20-30 percent down that a commercial lender would require.

Ever since the start of her career, Laurine has focused on sustainability. She recognized that building ownership was essential to make the necessary changes to be a truly sustainable business. “How do we reduce our carbon footprint and how can we be green and energy efficient?” she asked. “We put solar on the roof, we have LED lighting, and because all of our equipment is new, it’s all energy efficient. This was a great opportunity to be able to put all of my beliefs into action in the building.”

“There’s an important message here for businesses—especially food businesses—that want to be sustainable,” said Jacklyn Jordan, President and CEO, Capital Access Group. “In most cases, it’s not possible or feasible to make the infrastructure changes necessary to be truly sustainable. As Laurine demonstrates, owning the building changes the equation and gives the business complete control over the future of the business.”

Laurine is grateful for the help that Capital Access Group provided. “We never felt like we got the same kind of attention and support from the traditional lending institutions. With Capital Access we always felt like they were on our team and supporting us.”

Click here to read the full story.

Building ownership gives San Rafael-based Gymworld “a sense of freedom.”

Capital Access Group was thrilled to help Victoria Yelensky and Lourdes Esquivel, co-owners of Gymworld, secure $2,225,300 in total project financing to purchase an 8,326 square-foot building at 3040 Kerner Boulevard in San Rafael, CA.

Victoria was born in Ukraine and was a competitive gymnast in the former U.S.S.R. and represented Ukraine in international competitions. Lourdes was born in Mexico and competed in national and international competitions on the Mexico National gymnastics team. The women founded Gymworld in 1999 to pass on their love for gymnastics and the sport’s benefits to children aged 20 months to 18 years. Together, Victoria and Lourdes created a business that is “a great asset to the community,” according to Victoria.

The women had been leasing space in the building for five years prior to purchasing. When the previous owner decided to sell, they knew they had to make their move. “The building is our competitive advantage,” said Victoria. “It has a high ceiling, skylights, and beautiful windows, and when people come in, they’re impressed and they want to start lessons. So, buying this building was critical for our business.”

“The SBA 504 loan saved us,” said Victoria. “We saved $200,000 to $300,000 on the down payment that we could use to invest in new equipment and improvements that will help us grow the business.”

“When the previous owner decided to sell the building, Victoria and Lourdes had to act fast, and they needed the low down payment, long-term financing the 504 loan program makes possible,” said Cara Rudy, Vice President, Capital Access Group. “Now they have the pride of ownership and extra space to expand the business and create more jobs in the future.”

“We loved working with Cara from Capital Access Group,” said Victoria. “She put us at ease. It was a good experience.”

Click here to read the full story.

Young and Borlik Architects Purchases New HQ in Los Altos, CA, with SBA 504 Loan

Young and Borlik Architects, a full-service architecture firm, has been in business since 1989, primarily doing residential projects—from small additions to large estates—throughout the Bay Area. “The expectations for residential architecture in the Bay Area are very high, as is the availability for top people, and for top quality construction and materials,” said Andrew Young, CEO, Young and Borlik Architects, Inc. “It’s a great place to be doing architecture.”

But the Bay Area wasn’t the ideal place to be leasing office space. Over the years, the firm has leased three different locations and has been at the “mercy of the real estate market,” according to Young.

That all changed when Capital Access Group helped the firm secure $1,935,000 in total project financing to purchase a 2,811 square foot building in Los Altos, CA.

“We were so pleased to provide Young and Borlik Architects with the financing they needed to purchase their own building with the SBA 504 loan program,” said Jacklyn Jordan, President and CEO, Capital Access Group. “After leasing for nearly 30 years, owning the building will help the firm control costs, which will make it easier to plan for the future. Plus, they can now create the ideal office environment for their employees.”

“The loan afforded us the ability to develop an office space that is ideal for our needs, and to furnish the space entirely to meet our staffing requirements,” said Young. “For the first time, we’ve been able to spread out a little bit and afford everybody a little more space around their work stations. Having this office is really ideal in allowing us the ability to grow on our own terms and not those of the leased situation.”

Young said that he and his partners are thrilled with the loan and what it has allowed them to do. “Getting our own space, and getting our own building has given us the ability to plan for the future, to not be at the mercy of other economic influences,” he said.

Currently, Young and Borlik has 13 employees. The new building will allow the business to add at least five more positions to its roster.

“The SBA loan for us was a great solution,” said Young. “The encouragement and support we received to our growth was key in being able to accomplish this.”

Click here to read the full story.

Aby’s Custom Upholstery Secures SBA 504 Financing to Buy a Building in San Jose

Aby’s Custom Upholstery has plenty of room to grow in their new, 2,704 square foot building at 545 Horning St. in San Jose, CA, thanks in part to an SBA 504 loan from Capital Access Group.

Aby’s Custom Upholstery has been in business since 2003 serving residential and commercial customers in Los Gatos, Los Altos, Saratoga, and throughout the Peninsula and South Bay, and receiving more than one hundred 5-star reviews on CEO Abigail (Aby) Figueroa has been sole owner of the business since 2012.

Aby said that being able to have a location and a bigger space is “amazing” because she will be able to have space for an assistant with ample room to grow. “Now we’ll have two offices, a conference room, a showroom, a waiting area, and my employees are going to have a break room, which is very neat,” she said.

“Giving my employees a place that is safe and secure is important. Being able to secure my company’s location is everything,” said Aby Figueroa, CEO, Aby’s Custom Upholstery. The new building will allow the business to add three more people to its current roster of six employees.

Claudia Cohen from Capital Access Group “made the process very doable,” Aby said. “I wear a lot of hats, so there’s only so much I can do in a day. Claudia worked with me through the loan process and made things simple and to the point, which was important because you feel very vulnerable, especially when you’re buying something for the first time. Capital Access Group was on our side the whole way through.”

Read the full story here.