The Matrix Revisited: Funding Small Business in the Credit Crunch

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Innovative Bank's SBA CommunityExpress Loan Program offers start up loans up to $50,000 to small business owners during a nationwide credit crunch.

It's like working in a controlled environment or in the matrix

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The U.S. dollar is weak among other currencies and the U.S. economy as a whole is experiencing rapid and unprecedented changes seemingly initiated by forces that operate outside of the "real world." As a savvy entrepreneur or small business owner, intuition indicates that there is something wrong because it can be seen all around. U.S. small businesses are experiencing diminishing cash levels in the company checking account and discussing what to do about this in daily conversations. Money is tight and getting access to capital from banks--forget about it.

A recent survey released by the U.S. Federal Reserve showed that more than 50% of small business lenders have significantly tightened their credit requirements causing fewer and fewer business owners to qualify for loans thereby creating a literal "credit crunch." "Many small businesses are operating in an environment that is completely beyond their control", states Houston based Covenant Capital Corporation CEO, Ervin Hughes, a Technical Assistance Provider for Innovative Bank. "It's like working in a controlled environment or in the matrix", says Hughes coining a phrase from the popular movie series. Regardless of where entrepreneurs find themselves either one who can't get funding to start up or a business owner who can't get funding to grow, the burning question remains the same. How can an entrepreneur or small business owner get funding in this economy?

Innovative Bank has announced that it has revisited and made enhancements to its proprietary "credit matrix" to simplify qualifying for small businesses to get more access to capital by offering loans up to $50,000. Enter stage right, Philip LaCorte, V.P. and National Program Director for Innovative Bank's SOHO Loan Program. Innovative Bank was sold in 2005 and under its new management, LaCorte became the new leader for the SOHO Loan Program. The Small Office Home Office (SOHO) Loan Program is an SBA CommunityExpress loan that provides both funding up to $50,000 for start-ups and growing small businesses and lender sponsored business training through a nationwide network of SBA authorized Technical Assistance Providers (T/A Providers). Since July of 2005, Mr. LaCorte and his cadre of T/A Providers have developed the most successful lending system of its kind in the U.S. by incorporating business training provided by a network of experienced business consultants. According to Mr. LaCorte, he has "funded more than $100,000,000 to a record 10,000 small businesses nationwide during his tenure as Director."

Under the management of Mr. LaCorte, the program has improved significantly from its early development growing in average loan size from $5,000 to now $20,000. Mr. LaCorte has improved support and training for his network of T/A Providers who in turn provide pre and post loan business training resulting significantly lower loan defaults over previous years. LaCorte states that, "in addition to responsible underwriting, our T/A Providers assist in our ongoing effort to reduce risk by offering training in a range of business categories such as business planning, exporting, financial management, and accessing capital." The SOHO Loan Program offers simplified qualifying for start-up small businesses that require no business plans, no personal financial statements, no tax returns, no collateral, no owner equity injections, and not even a store front is required. The loan program is great for home-based businesses as well. Funds may be used for working capital to set up a new company or expand an existing one. To learn more or get complete information about the program, visit Innovative Bank's website at http://www.innovativebank.com or contact Philip LaCorte's loan team toll-free at 1-866-812-1216, option 1.

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Philip LaCorte

Ervin Hughes Jr
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