Keeping the Entrepreneur Dream Alive

By Karen L. Small
Founding Partner of Sterling Commercial Credit

Karen Small
December 2014

Sterling Commercial Credit (SCC) is committed to those small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) with annual sales of $500,000 – $25Million. This is something that we’re compelled to do. We have an opportunity to inject working capital in non-conventional ways. Without it many SMBs wouldn’t survive. Being an entrepreneur for the past 15-years, I can truly understand what it takes to walk in their shoes. I have lived every side of the ledger from banker, borrower, lender, business owner, loan guarantor, and even a collateral field examiner.

We are Sterling because we make good things happen. When a business can make payroll or take on bigger orders, the benefits ripple to new hires and beyond the company to families and communities exponentially across this great state and country. Frustration and despair lifts, hope and prosperity move in. We are helping to keep the pursuit of happiness within reach! SMB’s owners are people just like us at Sterling. They work hard, have a dream, they’ve poured their energy and wealth into a business and have a lot to loose. Cash keeps them alive. Some are barely surviving and others can see exponential growth, but many don’t have the appropriate working capital to make it happen.

We’ve been there! We also know that there are funding resources out there that will choke and hinder SMB s with fees and strangling contracts. Other sources will withhold critical funds due to corporate polices. We know we can provide the funding that breathes life into SMBs and provide the appropriate fresh working capital for growth through accounts receivable financing, which includes invoice factoring, asset based lines of credit, and purchase order credit facilities.

Strategic Partnerships

Sterling Commercial Credit offers a variety of strategic partnerships to borrowers, lenders, consultants, and more. Strategic Partnerships are sometimes needed to assist with keeping the entrepreneur dream alive. The following examples show how strategic partnerships can work.

SBA Lenders – Bankers

Sterling is a national non-bank/non-SBA lender for companies with working capital needs for high growth. Banks need partners to lend on fast growing sales, purchase orders, and/or inventory for a short time while keeping the company’s other tangible assets as collateral. SCC provides bridge loans while the prospect is working through an SBA approval process and provides options for bank prospects that currently do not qualify for traditional bank financing. SCC can also take on existing distressed bank clients. These clients are great companies with proven leadership, but for whatever reason cannot meet new bank credit policy requirements. Sterling essentially cleanses the company and returns them back to bankable prospects.

M&A Brokers – Consultants, Investment Bankers

Not all acquisitions can be funded with SBA guarantees, but an asset-based lender or factoring company such as Sterling Commercial Credit can quickly provide funding to close the deal. SCC can leverage short term assets such as the companies accounts receivable, inventory and equipment. This allows the buyer to put little to no money into the deal. This becomes very attractive to the consultants and the buying groups. The buyer also has fresh weekly working capital to pay their NEWCO employees and vendors. SCC is able to fund the acquisition needed with aggressive collateral advance rates and some creativity to get the deal closed. Sterling also can strategically assist with turn around consultants, and DIP financing.

Commercial Loans come and go. There is a home for every commercial loan, it just depends on the life cycle that the company is currently in. Sterling’s purpose is to be there whenever the SMB’s need our help. That’s what makes us Sterling!

Karen L. Small is a Founding Partner of Sterling Commercial Credit (2004). Over the course of the years responsibilities included: Credit Underwriting, Credit Portfolio Management, Operations, and Customer Service. Currently Head of New Business Sales & Marketing. Sterling Commercial Credit has sales offices in Brighton, MI; Atlanta GA, Chicago, IL, and Seattle, WA. Prior to Sterling Karen was a founding partner of Asset Based Audit Consultants, an auditing consulting company and performed collateral field exams for Banks and financial institutions. Prior to entrepreneurship Karen worked in various credit and accounting roles at Michigan National Bank in Farmington Hills, MI from 1992-2000.

Sterling Commercial Credit Criteria:

  1. Products: Factoring, Ledger Lines of Credit, Asset Based Lines of Credit
  2. Collateral: Accounts Receivable, Inventory, Equipment
  3. Industries: Staffing, B2B service providers, oil and gas, manufactures transportation, wholesalers
  4. Annual revenue range: from $500,000- $25,000,000
  5. Geographic Range: USA – all fifty states
  6. Response Time: From completed package to term sheet within 48 hours