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Yesterday was a big day for our company: we officially changed our name from Mercantile Commercial Capital, LLC to Mercantile Capital Corporation. There are many reasons for this, but I won’t go into them all here just yet. We distributed a press release earlier this morning that explains some of the exciting changes.

I’ve copied the full release below. I think you’ll find it pretty interesting, so leave me a comment to let me know your thoughts.

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NEWS RELEASE

Mercantile Capital Corporation Announces New Public-Private Partnership with Small Business Administration (SBA) and U.S. Treasury Dept.

Firm Set to Rename SBA 504 Loan Program as Part of Transaction

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS, Fla. — Mercantile Capital Corporation (formerly known as Mercantile Commercial Capital, LLC) chose its first operating day as a new entity to announce a landmark new federal program for the nation’s small business owners.

After months of closed-door negotiations with government officials, the Orlando-area based commercial lender has agreed to assume and service the small business loan portfolios of now defunct Wall Street firms, Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns – both of which originated hundreds of millions of SBA 504 loans over the past decade. Moreover, for an undisclosed sum, Mercantile will be granted “preferential status” in providing SBA 504 loans nationwide and given “naming rights” for the SBA 504 loan program. In a unique “swap-arrangement” that demonstrates the Obama Administration’s creative spirit in working with the private sector and a need to raise revenues for the Treasury, Mercantile will maintain the servicing for these 504 loans, while the SBA confers to Mercantile the option to provide all SBA 504 first mortgages for the remainder of fiscal year 2009 and all of fiscal year 2010. Along with this groundbreaking exclusivity, Mercantile has 30 days in which to change the poorly named “504” moniker.

“This is obviously a very big day for Mercantile,” said Chris Hurn, Chief Executive Officer of Mercantile. “We spent a considerable amount of time and capital to negotiate this deal – to service what may turn out to be ‘toxic’ assets from failed financial institutions, but in exchange we’ll become the SBA’s exclusive provider of 504 first mortgages and get to rename the program for the next 18 months,” Hurn stated.

Hurn’s business partner and the Chairman of Mercantile, Geof Longstaff, was equally effusive, “Our standing as one of the nation’s leading 504 lenders positioned us as the ‘go-to players’ to get this deal hammered out. The government wanted experts like us to take care of these specialized loans and was willing to let us take the lead in thawing-out the frozen small business lending industry.”

“The fact that we’ll get to rename the SBA 504 within the next 30 days was simply icing on the cake for us,” said Hurn.

Treasury spokesman, Dr. Lopo Flairs, commented, “The new Administration has chosen to be more creative – to throw the proverbial box out the window. This deal with Mercantile is a good example, as it accomplished our administrative needs while raising needed funds. The fact that the 504 loan program will get a new name for a few years is actually a plus for all parties involved. No one really knows why it was ever called that in the first place. This situation is really not unlike naming rights to a professional sports stadium, NASCAR sponsorships on their cars, or European soccer players with logos on their jerseys. We believe this is a good deal for America’s taxpayers.”

Hurn said he hasn’t yet decided on a new name for the 504 loan program, but since the program champions America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs with the smartest financing available when purchasing commercial property, he is said to be leaning toward calling these loans “The SmartChoice commercial loans.” Acting SBA Administrator Daryl Hairston and the soon-to-be confirmed SBA Administrator, Karen Gordon Mills, are also working with Hurn to appropriately rename the program.

Hurn and Longstaff will be leaving early today to join the leaders of the G-20 Summit in a just-added presentation on international small business growth. President Obama invited these two small business loan experts to London to educate this illustrious group about successful small business wealth creation. Both men are expected back in Orlando by early Saturday.

SBA 504 loans offer small business owners up to 90 percent financing at substantially reduced rates to develop, acquire, and remodel commercial facilities.

Mercantile Capital Corporation, formerly Mercantile Commercial Capital, LLC, ranks as the one of the most active providers of SBA 504 financing in the nation and 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.”

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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
Visit www.504Experts.com or www.504blog.com for more information.

93 Comments

  1. Larry Frank says:

    Good things happen to those who do good things.Congradulations to Chris and all the staff at mcc. So does this mean you get to meet the prez!

  2. shar says:

    April Fools!

  3. Sara says:

    Just to clarify, was the whole announcement a joke? Are you actually processing SBA loans?

  4. Larry Frank says:

    Ha! Ha! Ha! I retired 7 years ago today from ford motor co. and that was no april fools joke!!!

  5. Larry Frank says:

    Ha! Ha! Ha! I retired 7 years ago today from ford motor co. and that was no april fools joke!!!
    Oops…forgot to say great post! Looking forward to your next one.

  6. Chris Hurn says:

    Sara-

    Of course we do SBA loans. It was only a joke on April Fools day!

  7. Penny Brown says:

    THAT’S HUGE!!!!! What an accomplishment! Congrats and much continued, growing success.

  8. Clint Forester says:

    Chris,
    Congratulations!!!! What a huge accomplishment and a complement to your TIRELESS crusade of instilling integrity into Small business and your staunch advocacy for SBA financing.

    I am excited to see the plan unveil..

    Regards,

    Clint Forester

  9. William J. Doka says:

    Chris,

    That’s great!!! Now remember, my company services a great deal of SBA real estate appraisals in New Jersey and parts of the NY area.

    I’m approved, and along with your new services, I do hope that the appraisals will be coming along my way.

    Keep up the good work!

  10. Eric Ondrick says:

    Chris:

    Great job Chris – I’m very excited for you and your company.
    Thanks for the update buddy,

    Eric

  11. John Hart says:

    Wow, that is way cool. I am proud to know you.

  12. Douglas R. McDermod says:

    Congrats! This is great news, perhaps we can get together when you return from London and discuss how we could be of assistance to you.

  13. Roslyn Goldmacher says:

    Is this an April fools joke?

  14. Jack Mutchnik says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!!

  15. Jim Siesser says:

    Congratulations! Let me know when the details come out.
    Thank you,
    Jim

  16. Richard Tedlock says:

    CONGRATULATIONS CHRIS !

  17. John Edmead says:

    Chris,
    WOW!!! Major congratulations to you. I wish you continued success with your company and all ventures.

    Respectfully,

    John Edmead

  18. Mark E Lacasse says:

    Chris,

    Congratulations & safe travels.

    Mark

  19. Jeanne Slack says:

    Wow, Chris! Congratulations!!

  20. Tim Whitefield says:

    Well, this is very exciting news for MCC!

    CONGRATULATIONS – You are growing and developing new avenues of lending and servicing for owner-occupied properties.

  21. Todd Kocourek says:

    Nicely done!

  22. Charles Edwards says:

    Congratulations!

  23. Ajay Babbar says:

    Congratulations on this excellent news.

  24. Kenneth Carriero says:

    Congratulations Chris

  25. Jim Markham says:

    Hey Chris what a fantastic announcement and congratulations!
    If you need any help getting the program going in Southern California let me know.

    It’s great to follow your success. I told you that your marketing was some of the best I’ve ever seen.

    All my best and enjoy the trip to the G-20!
    …jim

  26. Donna Loader says:

    I definitely want to know more.
    AND congratulations.

  27. Dean Biggs says:

    Congratulations Chris,

    Looks like you pulled off the deal of a lifetime!

    But please don’t rename the 504 the Chelsea Loan!

    Good luck in London but make sure you wrap up warm as it’s a little bit colder on that side of the pond!

  28. Miguel de Arcos says:

    Congratulations Chris. This is very exciting for you and you firm.

  29. Jeff Johnson says:

    Chris: Very impressive news!

  30. Mike Seeley says:

    Congratulations!

  31. Geoff Nanton says:

    Impressive, my congrats!

  32. Bob Baker says:

    Holy Cow!! Congratulations! Can’t wait to hear more at Mastermind.
    Have some fish and chips in London for all of us.
    blessings,
    bob

  33. Jim Franklin says:

    Congratulations
    Quite an accomplishment

  34. Tony Baldwin says:

    Congratulations!

  35. Marty Herbenar says:

    Congratulations – that is BIG and exciting news. I know you worked hard to bring this about and I wish you every success as you roll out the program.

  36. John Reichard says:

    April Fools right?

  37. Al Acitelli says:

    “effusive”????

    Great word.

  38. Brian Walsh says:

    All I can say is ….CONGRATULATIONS!!

  39. Jean Louise says:

    Congrats! and the best on the trip to the G-20 Summit. Exciting. I have been mainly involved in residential financing, but would love the opportunity to be educated on the SBA 504 loan program.

    Thank you. Jean Louise

  40. Gayle Carson says:

    Congratulations. I just think you are fantastic. Some of you needs to rub off on me!

  41. William Gonzalez says:

    Wow! Congrats on your success.

  42. El Vaughn Williams says:

    Thank you we would be more than interested in obtaining financing through this vehicle with your assistance!

  43. Janis Modeste says:

    Congratulations! You have earned your stripes. I look forward to finally turning in my application and take advantage of this administrations efforts.

  44. Abena Stephenson says:

    Thank you for sharing. I look forward to the new ways this program can assist our commercial borrowers.
    Do keep me informed.
    Thank you

  45. David Pomerance says:

    Pretty impressive Chris. Congratulations to you. It has been a pleasure being associated with you. I just keep looking at you and the things you pull off thinking that I am taking a backward look in the mirror.

  46. Carmenza Gonzalez says:

    Congratulations! I will share the press release with my teammates.

  47. John Seib says:

    Congratulations and from the heart of America (small business) thank you. When the dust settles maybe you can help me out. Thanks.

  48. Barbara Morrison says:

    Very good
    April Fools!!!

  49. Rod Hosilyk says:

    Congratulations, Chris – sounds like a real coup for you guys.

  50. Suzanne Shafer says:

    YOU ROCK!
    I am so excited to hear that your firm, one with sense, common sense, and a great reputation is going to be working with this plan. I have a glimpse of renewed hope that small business will thrive in spite of the media with good people working on the nuts and bolts of it all!

    Again, I am thrilled for your opportunity and look forward to watching you and your firm change the way business is done in dealing with the SBA 504 financing. I bet your momma is beamin’!

    God’s blessing and guidance in this endeavor!
    Suzanne Shafer

    P.S. could you please keep renegade marketing out of the news? They’ll spoil it for all of us!

  51. Larry Sage says:

    Chris

    Congratulations

    Let me know if I can help.

  52. Larry Hall says:

    Good for you!!

    It is refreshing to read some good news for a change.
    I hope you have a successful and safe trip to the G20 meetings.

  53. Don Copeland says:

    Really sounds exciting !

  54. Terry Kemp says:

    Congratulations! Your company has ascended to unprecedented heights illustrating the uniquely creative role public / private partnerships play in our economy, and shall have in revitalizing the economy going forward. It is a bit of an irony that it took leading progenitors(your company) from the once so called “staid” SBA industry to rescue “omnipotent”, now defunct, Wall Street Investment Banks. It is a credit to your expertise, free enterprise, and the fact that no aspect or particular sector of American commerce has cornered the market on ideas.

    Keep up the outstanding, pioneering work! Good luck on your presentation.!

  55. Tim Souther says:

    April fools.

  56. David Brindley says:

    Congratulations Chris!

  57. Ken Egan says:

    Glad to hear of your new venture.

  58. Randy Birchmier says:

    That is IMPRESSIVE!

  59. Jeff Vratanina says:

    Hey Chris,
    Wow!! Congratulations!! Tim just forwarded me the “Press Release”… FANTASTIC news for you and the market! We look forward to helping you with this in any possible way.

    But more importantly, will you still be our neighbor or do Tommy and Sara have to start looking for “New Friends”?? 🙂

    Jeff Vratanina

  60. Jim McClure says:

    Hey Chris: for today 4/1 we will sit on this information, if it’s still viable tomorrow… no offence intended.

  61. Hoss Ghassemi says:

    Congratulations!!

  62. Jean L. Batman says:

    Dear Chris,

    What great news – congratulations!

    My colleague, Alexander V. Choulos, and I are both designated counsel for the SBA 504 loan program, but it has been several months since we have gotten any new 504 loans.

    Please call on us if you are in need of counsel in California. We would be happy to assist you with your new venture.

    Very truly,

    Jean

  63. Chad Lambert says:

    Congratulations Chris!

    Good luck at the G-20 Summit. We are looking forward to working with you when you guys get back.

  64. John Benz says:

    Wow! That is really impressive. Congratulations to you and Geof on a great deal. What an outstanding move.

  65. Charles Forster says:

    Congratulations! That’s incredibly exciting and seems to spell good things for the future of your business!

    I look forward to hearing continued news of the progress.

  66. Braudis Pegram says:

    Thanks! Happy to hear the great news!
    Congrats to you and your company! I’m positive that the fruits of your intelligent labor
    will also translate to greater prosperity for my company and the nation at large as well.
    Good work! I guess I “came on board” at the right time!
    Thanks again and much success!

  67. Mitchell C. Fogel says:

    Congratulations to you and Geof, Chris! I’ll be sure to cover your new venture FIRST thing when I take over as the host of 60 minutes later this month!

  68. Thomas Harblin says:

    Excellent Chris!

  69. Liz Trifone says:

    That’s great news Chris…I have ten deals ready to go, I have informed all the banks that they cannot do the deals due to this new SBA partnership with you. Who should I send them to?

  70. Michael Spitalney says:

    Chris – Bravo! Arguably one of the best work-related April Fool’s efforts
    ever. Had me and staff staring mouths-agape for a good 5-minutes trying to
    make sense of it! (Not sure what that says about us. 😉 )

    Best of luck. Hope to cross paths with you at some point.

  71. Tina Holden says:

    Hello Chris

    Congrats! This is one absolutely Wonderful thing

  72. William Burnside says:

    Congratulations! I think?…It looks very interesting… I would like to discuss the opportunities available. Thank you for diligently keeping me in the loop. I do read your correspondence.

  73. Paul Wiltz says:

    Excellent Job! This success makes me proud of our association. When are the changes taken into effect based on the Obama’s administration push to increase SBA 504 loan guaranties? My sources suggest that the propose changes will increase up to 100%.

  74. Bernie Fitzgerald says:

    Congratulations!!

  75. Pat Hogan says:

    Man that’s amazing!

  76. Shy duReaux says:

    What a power play!!! This is an exciting time and I am glad that you and your team are seizing the moment.
    The “SmartChoice” loan is ideal. As it was designed, the leverage that the business owner has with the low point of entry gives everyone a chance to achieve the 2nd part of the American Dream, owning the business (space) that houses their business.

    I look forward to your return and to being able to compare notes as to how we might work together, let’s talk soon.

  77. David Linton says:

    April Fools???

  78. Rob Kampen says:

    Congratulations, all the noise you have been making has paid off.

    Keep up the good work.

  79. Fred Lawrence says:

    Congratulations on accomplishing this..As a SCORE counselor to America’s Small Business, with a role of helping people start and be successful in their own business, we operate under the SBA and look for firms that can supply funding.. We will keep you in mind and call on you soon to see if you can help us..

    I also do commercial real estate and broker small business’s..so hopefully we can develop a relationship

  80. Rosina says:

    Congratulation! You are demonstrating how a well directed company work.
    May you and Mercantile Commercial Capital enjoy many more years of success.

  81. Heather Quillen says:

    Dear Chris, congratulations to you, your partner and your company! It was great meeting you last month at the luncheon in Heathrow. Nick has often spoken of the group and the movers and shakers that attend.

    How very exciting and rewarding for you to close the deal on this tremendous opportunity and attend the G-20. I am confident you will continue to create an environment of success and abundance all around you.

    Thanks so much and again, congratulations on your success!

  82. Ray Angeles says:

    Chris, congratulations. Another Feather in you cap.

  83. Howard Levine says:

    Hearty congratulations. Now it’s time for you to get to work on 7(a)s.

  84. Arnold H. Bierman says:

    Geof & Chris– I’m so proud of you that you have been able to participate with President Obama and also with a friend and classmate of mine, Dr. Lopo Flairs, who is an extremely sharp guy, in this outstanding program developed by their Administration. It’s great that you have been selected and are joining with our brilliant President to help effectuate the solution to our present crisis, Mazal tov! Arnold

  85. Jack Watts says:

    Mr. Hurn that is exciting news. Congratulations on your successful negotiations. With Government loans changing by the day it is great to have someone like yourself that the small investor can turn to get through the muck.

    In addition to renaming the loan are you and the Govt. going to raise the limits? If this is not a possibility, have you successfully built any hotels of this type for under the limits recently? Once again congratulations on your recent success and new exciting opportunities. Hopefully in the near future we can do business together. Sincerely, Jack Watts

  86. Geof Longstaff says:

    Arnold, I can see the tongue bulging in your check. You are one of the few who got it. Geof

  87. William Burke says:

    YOU’RE RIGHT IT IS FANTASTIC NEWS AND YOU DID A GREAT JOB ON THE FOX INTERVIEW.I’VE GOT SOME EXCELLENT DEALS IN THE PIPELINE OVER HERE SO WHEN YOU GET BACK MAYBE WE COULD HAVE LUNCH OR SOMETHING.THANKS.BILL BURKE.

  88. Jami Woodall says:

    This positive change for your company is so nice to hear in all this negativity we hear. All I have to say is are you hiring? 🙂

    Thanks for the update, and keep up the positivity!

  89. Sharon Bramlett says:

    Congratulations Chris !
    As always your success is of celebrity status !

  90. Denise Hoopes says:

    Congratulations Chris!

    As a small business owner in this economy, you give encouragement and some light at the end of the tunnel. I contacted your office previously, received a packet & then got cold feet in this economy. You give me encouragement to request another one. Love your headed to the top style. Good for you & keep up the great work. I’ll be in touch.

  91. Jimmy Wimberly says:

    Chris, congratulations, this is a big step – by the way the newsletters and blogs have really helped me stay infomed and on top of what is going on in the mortgage business.

  92. Diane Roehrig says:

    I have been out of the office for the last ten days, and just read your announcement.
    I want to congratulate you on your ingenuity and intrepid action. It is about time that someone who has actually made a loan is going to have a say in the future of the program.
    No one who has been around you expects anything less than a “Damn the torpedoes. Full steam ahead.” from you.
    Bravo!!!

  93. Burton Haynes says:

    Thank you for writing this. A good complement to your thoughts from the YC panel at the Seattle Tech Startups meeting a few weeks ago. I’ll definitely keep this bookmarked to check back on when I decide to apply.

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