As a follow-up to yesterday’s blog and press release,
I’d like you to read the following release, issued just
a few minutes ago.
Happy April Fool’s Day from the MCC Family,
Mercantile Capital Corporation Retracts Earlier SBA 504 Announcement
“Just an April Fool’s Day Prank to Release Some Tension,” says CEO
ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — Mercantile Capital Corporation (formerly known
as Mercantile Commercial Capital, LLC) has retracted an earlier story about
its new public-private partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration
(SBA) and the U.S. Treasury.
“Often times it’s better to laugh, than cry,” said Chris Hurn, Chief
Executive Officer of Mercantile Capital Corporation. “There’s been so
much tension, anxiety and uncertainty over the past several months in the
financial services industry, that we played an innocent practical joke.
This is the very first time we’ve ever fabricated something, and we would
never do so on any other date.”
There are several things Mercantile wishes to recant:
– There have been no closed-door sessions with the Obama Administration
and Mercantile officials, nor has Mercantile paid the Treasury an “undisclosed
sum” of money for a portfolio purchase of SBA 504 loans or for naming rights
to the program.
– To the best of Mercantile’s knowledge, Bear Stearns never originated
or held a portfolio of SBA 504 loans.
– Lehman Brothers, while originating tens of millions of SBA 504 loans,
did not sell these assets to Mercantile, nor were Mercantile officials aware
of any of Lehman’s SBA 504 loans being considered “toxic.”
– Mercantile is not in the business of assuming and/or servicing loan
portfolios – they only originate SBA 504 loans nationally, one small business
owner at a time.
– The U.S. Government, the Treasury Department, nor the SBA have granted
any exclusivity or other “preferential status” to Mercantile in regard to being
the only private-sector lender making SBA 504 first mortgages, much to Mercantile
– Mercantile does not have license to rename the SBA 504 loan program,
despite its re-positioning of the program as “The SmartChoice commercial loan”
over the past year.
– Acting SBA Administrator Hairston and soon-to-be confirmed SBA
Administrator Mills have not been in contact with Mr. Hurn regarding a name
change for the SBA 504 loan program . . . but perhaps they should.
– Messrs. Hurn and Longstaff did not travel to the G-20 Summit this
morning – in fact, Mr. Hurn traveled to Cleveland, a far cry from London.
– While Messrs. Hurn and Longstaff would be happy to educate governmental
officials (both domestically and internationally) about small business growth
and small business wealth creation through smart commercial property ownership,
neither men have been contacted by the Administration to do so.
– Dr. Lopo Flairs is a fictional Treasury spokesperson with a name that
is an anagram, spelling out “April Fool’s.”
“We hope this joke did not cause anyone too much heartburn. Anyone who knows
us, knows that we take our work very seriously and believe we really are the
best at providing SBA 504 loans to America’s small business community . . . but
occasionally we like to be a little irreverent. Life is much too short to
always be serious,” said Hurn.
“If the Administration wants to seriously consider any of the provisions in
this morning’s press release to thaw-out the small business lending environment,
we would be happy to do our part,” said Geof Longstaff, Chairman of Mercantile.
Mercantile officials are reportedly working on giving all of the hundreds of
people who went out of their way to call in and/or email in to congratulate
them on their “fake” news some gift of appreciation for being such good sports.
SBA 504 loans offer small business owners up to 90 percent financing at
substantially reduced rates to develop, acquire, and remodel commercial
facilities. Really, it’s true!
Mercantile Capital Corporation, formerly Mercantile Commercial Capital, LLC,
really does rank as the one of the most active providers of SBA 504 financing
in the nation and really has become quite well-known and decorated in their
industry with such honors as being a member of the Inc. 500 list of America’s
fastest-growing companies, being named “Banker of the Year,” and just last year,
being named “Best Small Company in Central Florida.” Who else could have
pulled an April Fool’s stunt like this anyway?!?
* * *
For more information contact
Chris Hurn, CEO, Mercantile Capital Corporation, 407-786-5040
Geof Longstaff, Chairman, Mercantile Capital Corporation, 407-786-5040
Shannon D. Marks, President/COO, Mercantile Capital Corporation, 407-786-5040