Well, it’s taken me 17 days to get my act together and update you on how Mercantile did in 2012, but the numbers are finally in. We said all along that last year was going to be a record-shattering one for us, and we were proven right.
Between January 1st and December 31st of 2012, we closed 97 loans that helped finance small business commercial real estate projects worth more than $424.2 million. The business owners we worked with are located in 27 states across the country and 2,834 jobs were created or retained as a result of the loans we made.
Our loan volume for 2012 is an increase of 143% from 2011 — our previous record year — when we closed loans worth $174.4 million in total project costs. Anybody who tells you it’s impossible to get commercial real estate financing is flat-out wrong, and we aim to prove it again this year.
Now, part of our strong performance last year was due to the SBA 504 Refinance and FMLP programs, which expired last September. These initiatives were extremely beneficial for the business owners who were able to utilize them in the short time they were available, and we did everything we could to get the word out about them. It’s my hope that President Obama and Congress will revisit these measures and potentially reinstate them (or something similar), but I won’t hold my breath on it.
This year, whether we see the return of 504 Refis and/or FMLP, we’re working on some things that could potentially increase our loan volume 30% over our 2012 numbers. Any increase in our lending figures means that more small business owners are getting more access to smarter commercial real estate financing — a sign that our economy is getting stronger.
We’re thankful for the people we work with who make it possible for us to help so many creative, talented and brilliant business owners. If we haven’t had the honor of working with you or your small business clients, let’s fix that in 2013. Let us know how we can help, and we’ll do whatever we can to blow your expectations out of the water.
In case you’re interested, here’s the full text of our official year-end press release that’s going out today:
Mercantile Capital Corp. Announces Record Year,
Plans Expansion in 2013
ORLANDO, Fla. (January 17, 2013) — Mercantile Capital Corporation today announced that 2012 was a record year for the nearly 10-year-old company, which specializes in providing commercial property financing for small business owners via the U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loan program.
Christopher Hurn, CEO of Mercantile Capital Corporation, said the company finished the year having closed loans on more than $424.2 million in total project costs. This record loan volume is an increase of 143 percent from Mercantile’s 2011 loan volume of $174.4 million, which was the previous record for the commercial lender.
Since Mercantile opened for business in 2002, the company has provided nearly 500 loans to finance commercial real estate projects worth more than $1.16 billion in total project costs for small and medium-sized businesses in 37 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. This lending activity has contributed to the creation or retention of 7,915 jobs across the country.
In December alone, the company closed eight loans worth more than $35.4 million, ending the year on a strong note. The largest single loan closed by the company in 2012 was for the $14.5 million acquisition of a Holiday Inn Hotel located in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Hurn expects Mercantile’s strong performance to continue in 2013, citing new sales channels he’s developed with Chairman Geof Longstaff. “What we have in the works now could increase our annual loan volume by as much as 30 percent,” Hurn said. “The scarcity of available financing for small business owners has been a major hindrance to the nation’s economic recovery,” he added, “but it has focused a spotlight on the SBA 504 loan program and its many benefits.”
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Again, Happy New Year! All of us here at Mercantile wish you a productive, prosperous and profitable 2013.
Tags: business commercial real estate, Florida, Mercantile Capital Corporation, Obama, Orlando, real estate financing, SBA 504 Loan, Small Business Administration, small business lending, smarter commercial real estate financing, U.S. Small Business Administration