Government Funding for Small and Large Businesses

08:18 07 January in Blog, Business Funding

Business owners are not always aware of the various loans and programs offered by the government to provide business funding. While not every business will qualify for these programs, it is worth your time to investigate the potential opportunities for your business, regardless of the size.

Here are some of the most common opportunities you should be aware of if you are searching for funds for your business or if you are looking to buy one.

Small Business Administration (SBA) – whether you are starting a business for the first time, your business is in a designated disaster area, you are considering expanding or you need help with exporting, the SBA is a good option.

S. Treasury Department — if your business is promoting economic growth and providing the opportunity for new jobs, there is a program called the Small Business Lending Fund (SBLF). This program is administered by community banks and community development loan funds.

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) — businesses which are located in rural and urban areas where the population is less than 50,000 people may qualify for loan guarantees under this program. Funds may be used to refinance debt, purchase equipment or real estate, or acquire another business entity. There are restrictions on this program, but the program is worth looking into.

Technology Funding — these programs are designed to partner small and large businesses and help launch new, innovative products. The specific programs are known as Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR). These funds are often awarded in the form of grants and/or contracts with NIH and other government agencies including DoD.

General Federal Government Programs — every business should remain abreast of the offerings of the federal government in terms of financing. In some instances, there are loan guarantee programs which make it easier for you to secure a loan through a local bank. In other cases, there may be grants available which would give your business the opportunity to test new products.

State Level Programs — nearly every state offers business owners opportunities. Whether these opportunities are in the form of tax incentives, opportunities for contracts with the state, or special financing opportunities, you should check the programs offered by your state. Keep in mind, there are several states which also offer incentives for businesses who intend to provide a certain number of jobs. In most cases, you need not have your primary business located in a specific state to take advantage of these programs.

Business Funding Solutions for Companies

For many business owners, there are limited opportunities to take advantage of government funds. For example, construction companies, franchisees, and licensees may have business models that are not conducive to government funding programs. This does not mean you are without sources to capital, in fact, this is when you should consider contacting Capstone Capital Group.

At Capstone, we understand every business needs access to capital in order to fund growth. We are also aware that many businesses struggle through seasonal differences in business. This is why we take the time to understand your business, determine your short and long-term funding needs and develop a program that works to meet your growth goals.

We have helped small and medium-sized businesses get access to the funding they need even when they may not qualify for government funding either in the form of direct capital or loan guarantees. We can help with a broad range of financial services including spot factoring, letters of credit, and purchase order financing.

You should never let the lack of immediate capital slow down your growth potential. Contact Capstone Capital Group today at [email protected] or call us at (212) 755-3636 and speak with one of our representatives about designing a financing package that works for your business.

2018 Facts for Small Businesses

15:56 03 December in Blog, Business Funding

 

There are more small businesses in the United States than most people know. Current estimates are there are 30 million businesses classified as small business.  There are more than 57 million people employed by small business owners, making small business an important part of our overall economy. It is estimated small business accounts for more than 60 percent of overall job growth in the U.S.

Geography of Small Businesses

Every region of the United States has small businesses. However, the South and Mid-Atlantic are home to nearly 50 percent of all small businesses while New England and the Farm Belt account for only 10 percent. Keep in mind, by definition, small business is defined as any company employing fewer than 500 employees.

Financing Challenges Associated with Small Businesses

Nearly one-quarter of all small businesses fail to obtain sufficient levels of financing. When you combine this statistic with the decline of banking institutions in the country, this is a sobering statistic. During 2017-2018, 271 banks closed their doors. This means small business owners often had to elect to find alternative methods of financing their businesses.

Impact of Financing on Small Business

Small businesses have always faced financing challenges, particularly during their first few years. Some of the options they have used include:

  • 32 percent depend on company earnings
  • 31 percent depend on credit cards
  • 15 percent depend on large banks
  • 14 percent depend on community banks
  • 13 percent depend on loans from friends and family

When a small business cannot obtain the funding they need, they are faced with difficult decisions. Some of the ways business owners respond to a lack of funding include turning down sales, cutting employees and slowing their operations or growth. Since so many small businesses exist, this could spell trouble for the larger economy. In most cases, one of the primary reasons given for closing the doors on a small business include lack of financing.

Small Business Diversity Statistics

Small business across the country account for nearly 50 percent of all employees. There are a staggering eight million firms that are considered minority-owned. More than 250,000 businesses are considered small business exporters as well.

Challenges Funding Import/Export Transactions

Because of the number of small businesses involved in trade, it is easy to assume they face more than their fair share of challenges when it comes to obtaining funding. This is true at most stages of an export business because there are numerous components including logistics.

Fortunately, Capstone Capital Group can help these businesses by providing a broad range of services to help with export financing. We understand how to structure the right type of transaction to help with financing, provide logistical support when needed, and help you with other aspects of these transactions. We understand how important this is for your continued business growth and that is why we offer customized trade financing solutions designed to meet your needs.

Minority-Owned Business Solutions

Despite the number of minority-owned businesses across the United States, many of these businesses suffer financially because of a lack of resources. There are hundreds of studies showing a minority business owner can still face hurdles when seeking financing options. Like every business owner, a minority must have access to public and private funding sources to help them growth and allow their business time to thrive.

This is when you can count on Capstone Capital Group. We take pride in the fact we have worked with various minority-owned businesses to help them overcome their financing challenges. Thanks to the efforts of our diversity team, we can provide a range of financing solutions to help minority-owned businesses the opportunity to find a solution that best meets their needs.

Small business owners need not borrow money on their high-interest credit cards, reduce their employee count, or turn down potentially lucrative contracts. Instead, contact an experienced member of our team at (212) 755-3636 to speak with a representative today and let us help you get the funding you need.

 

 

Capstone Employee Promotion

Capstone Employee Promotion Press Release

16:38 15 November in Blog, Press Release

Capstone Employee Promotion

Capstone Capital Group, LLC is pleased to announce the promotion of Mariam Russo. Ms. Russo has been promoted from Due Diligence Analyst to Senior Analyst.  Ms. Russo joined Capstone in 2017 and in her current role is responsible for client intake, due diligence analysis, client relationship management, and credit underwriting.  Ms. Russo specializes in valuations, financial modeling, Purchase Order Financing transactions and was also recently appointed to Capstone’s Credit Committee.

Prior to joining Capstone, Ms. Russo served as an analyst for five years in the Brokerage Department of a real estate services firm located in New York City. In her role, she was responsible for developing and managing discounted cash flow and pro forma financial models in addition to real estate valuation models.  These models were used for both acquisitions and lease analysis of various real estate assets in the United States.

Ms. Russo is a graduate of the Zicklin School of Business of CUNY Baruch College where she graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and a Minor in Mathematics.

As a private finance company, Capstone is committed to assisting clients with cash flow issues.  We understand businesses have unique financial needs and we provide specific financing solutions to fit those needs. Some of our products include Purchase Order (PO) Financing, Factoring Services, and International Trade Financing.  We work with businesses offering services and products who bill their customer through “process billing” type contracts, typical for those in the construction trade, publishing, service businesses, suppliers to government agencies, staffing companies, as well as wholesalers. Each of our divisions handle a different aspect of business with one goal in mind: to help our clients grow and remain competitive by ensuring they have access to the capital they need.

S&P 500 Profit Slump Extends into Sixth Quarter - Capstone financing

S&P 500 Profit Slump Extends into Sixth Quarter

09:53 16 September in Blog

Expectations are falling, and the idea that the third quarter would mark the return to growth for U.S. companies has fallen flat. Companies in the S&P 500 will report earnings in the coming weeks, and the expectation is that they will once again report declines. The current slump of 6 consecutive quarters of shrinking earnings is the longest since FactSet began tracking the date in 2008 – leading many in the market to wonder how long stocks can rise while corporate earnings continue to fall.

Some Improvements, but Not Enough

Two factors – failing oil prices and a strengthening dollar – that have hurt corporate earnings in recent years have subsides in 2016, yet the recession in earnings continues. Despite the slight uptick in oil prices, the energy sector is expected to report the largest year-over-year decline in earnings of all S&P 500 sectors – a whopping 66% drop.

Stock Prices & Earnings: The Disconnect

Although earnings have dropped steadily, stocks have remained on a near-unprecedented bull run. This oxymoron can be explained by revised expectations: by lowering earning expectations shortly before they are released, analysts give companies a better chance to beat expectations. Investor confidence rises, money flows in, and the stock price continues to rise, even though the company did not really outperform expectations. Another factor that has kept this atypical bull run on track is the (in)activity of the central bank, which has not carried out any of the four planned interest rate hikes that were scheduled for this year.

Market Explanation

Faced with a situation where the entire market — not indices and individual stocks – is overpriced, many investors now point to quarter four as the turning point. They point to the fact that the market is hovering near all-time highs as evidence that a resumption of earnings growth is right around the corner.

Accelerate Your Working Capital with Capstone

For qualified clients, Capstone provides Purchase order factoring, single invoice factoring and full-contract factoring for work performed under contract with credit-worthy accounts. We have highly experienced professionals on staff to facilitate the purchase of work in progress and progress billing-related accounts receivable. Please visit our homepage or contact us directly for more information.

Number One Threat to Long-Term Economic Growth - Explained by Capstone

This is the Number One Threat to Long-Term Economic Growth

12:10 07 August in Blog

Amid positive job reports and a surging stock market, one factor still presents a major obstacle to long-term economic growth in the US: a persistent slackening of productivity. We are currently in the midsts of the longest downward slide in worker productivity since the 1970’s, an unfortunate asterisk that should accompany the latest round of job reports. It’s also likely to keep the Fed from raising interest rates any time in the near future.

Productivity by the Numbers

Productivity — the measure of what goods and services a worker produces each hour on the job — fell 0.5% at a seasonally adjusted rate during the second quarter, according to the Labor Department. That marks the third consecutive quarterly drop in productivity, the longest streak since 1979. What’s worse, the trend shows few signs of abating; productivity growth rang in at just 1.7% from 2007 to 2015, half that of 2000 through 2007.

Why Worker Productivity Matters

For business owners, the importance of worker productivity can’t be understated. The equation is simple: less productivity means more expenses and less profit. On a macro level, productivity is a key gauge in measuring wage growth, prices, and overall economic output — which have all been falling as well.

What’s Killing Productivity?

According to numerous studies, lagging productivity has several culprits. Among the most important are businesses unwillingness to invest in new equipment, machinery, and equipment — the raw materials that translate directly into job growth, wage growth, and gains in worker efficiency and productivity. While the exact cause of lagging productivity is difficult to nail down, it’s worth noting that fixed nonresidential investment, the meat and potatoes of business spending, has also dropped the last three quarters along with productivity.

That lack of investment has lead to a decline in new orders for nondefense capital goods on a year-over-year basis for much of the last year and a half.

What’s the Solution?

As we mentioned in our most recent blog, the majority of US manufacturers are small businesses — and many find themselves sorely lacking the working capital needed to invest in their businesses, jump-start productivity, create backlogs, and grow. As a low-risk remedy, manufacturers and other small businesses with strong demand for their products use invoice factoring to boost their cash flow. That’s where Capstone can help!

Grow Your Business with Capstone

For qualified clients, Capstone provides purchase order factoring, single invoice and full-contract factoring for work performed under contract with credit-worthy accounts. We have highly experienced professionals on staff to facilitate the purchase of work in progress and progress billing-related accounts receivable. Please visit our homepage or contact us directly for more information.

About US Manufacturing - Capstone Financing

4 Things You Didn’t Know about US Manufacturing

09:37 15 July in Blog

As we discussed in a recent blog, US manufacturing is alive and well—despite what many people may think. Following up on that piece, we are happy to give yet another positive update from the manufacturing sector.

The stars have aligned for US manufacturing in July, with domestic demand strengthening and offsetting the relative strength of the US dollar. US manufacturing activity hit a 9-month high in July, dispelling fears that the UK’s decision to leave the EU would hurt the already poorly performing sector. Factors that are boosting US manufacturing activity include a strong housing market, strong automobile demand, and solid consumer spending: all of which help to increase spending on manufactured goods.

US Manufacturing: Down and Out or Just Different?

It’s true that today’s manufacturing landscape is quite different from that of 1950. It’s even changed significantly since the year 2000, having shed 5 million jobs since the turn of the century. But what many people don’t realize is that it’s not only US manufacturing that’s being transformed. Technological advancements have made it possible to increase production with fewer workers. The end result is a strong (albeit much quieter) manufacturing sector that increasingly relies on tools like invoice factoring to increase working capital and expand business.

Surprising Facts about US Manufacturing

Here are four things you probably didn’t know about US manufacturing.

  1. Most US manufacturing firms are small; 75% have less than 20 employees, and 99% have less than 500.
  2. The US boasts 12 million manufacturing workers —9% of the entire workforce
  3. The average manufacturing worker earned over $4 more an hour than the US average — $25.58 compared to $21.32.
  4. Many manufacturing companies use invoice factoring to boost cash flow and expand their business

Boosting Working Capital with Capstone

For qualified clients, Capstone provides single invoice and contractor factoring for work performed under contract with credit-worthy accounts. We have highly experienced professionals on staff to facilitate the purchase of work in progress and progress billing-related accounts receivable. Please visit our homepage or contact us directly for more information.

Stake for Small Business Owners this Election Season

What’s at Stake for Small Business Owners this Election Season

19:40 29 June in Blog

Stake for Small Business Owners this Election SeasonU.S. presidential elections are a marathon, not a sprint, and this race has been exceptionally grueling—both for the candidates and the public at large. But more concerned than the average U.S. citizen are small business owners, who have responded to the uncertainty by delaying new hires, forgoing new equipment orders, and avoiding all but the most essential investments. We’ll tell you why confidence is slipping and what small businesses can do to buck the trend.

An Unprecedented Election Season?

Every presidential election captures the nation’s attention, but this year’s race seems to have no precedent. Whereas most Americans tune into the race after the primaries are over and the Republicans and Democrats have chosen their respective nominees, both parties saw unconventional candidates challenge the status quo during the primaries and capture the attention—and votes—of millions. Now that the primaries are over and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are set to face off in the general election, the future and the direction we’re heading remains as unclear as ever.

Small Business Owners Uncertain

According to a survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal and Vistage Worldwide Inc, one-third of business owners report that uncertainty over the coming election is negatively impacting their business.

Though small business owners are responding in different ways, the overarching theme is this: they have opportunities to grow their businesses, but they’re hesitant to spend the money. It’s not just the election causing concerns—there’s also global concerns, like the recent exit of the U.K. from the European Union, which threw global markets into a brief tailspin and the tenuous state of the Chinese economy. Closer to home, there’s also uncertainty over the timing and impact of future interest rate hikes.

Small-Business Confidence, by the Numbers

Given the picture we’ve just painted, it’s no surprise that small-business confidence fell to its lowest level since November of 2012 this month. Even industries that consider themselves ‘immune’ to political drama, like real estate, construction and development, are seeing activity dwindle. In the end, small businesses off all types face higher cost of capital than their larger counterparts, and that’s why they bear the lion’s share of the burden when uncertainty prevails and consumers reduce spending.

Luckily, there are several tools that small businesses can use to seize opportunities for growth—regardless of the prevailing political and economic climate.

Capstone Helps Small Businesses Boost Working Capital and Grow

For qualified clients, Capstone provides purchase order factoring, single invoice factoring, and full-contract factoring for work performed under contract with credit-worthy accounts. We have highly experienced professionals on staff to facilitate the purchase of work in progress and progress billing-related accounts receivable. Please visit our homepage or contact us directly for more information.

How to Grow Business in an Unnatural Economy - Capstone

How to Grow Business in an Unnatural Economy

21:58 15 June in Blog

How to Grow Business in an Unnatural EconomyStalled growth, disappearing jobs and a sense of foreboding are the defining characteristics of today’s economy. So, what or who is to blame? According to one theorist, the process of “creative destructions,” whereby the death of one business or industry gives rise to another, is failing. We’ll tell you why it’s happening and show you how Capstone’s single invoice and full-contract factoring allow businesses to grow along with demand, avoid taking on additional debt, and improve their balance sheets organically—even in an economy stuck in limbo.

The Numbers

A sobering job report released earlier this month showed the creation of only 38,000 new jobs —124,000 fewer than had been predicted — which is the lowest monthly total since September 2010. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 94,708 Americans were not participating in the labor force during the month of May, bringing the participation rate to 62.6%.

A Limited Recovery

There’s no doubt that we’ve recovered from the Great Recession. The stock market has been on a 7-year bull run—although it has been tested recently. If you’ve tuned into the rhetoric coming out of the presidential race, you’ve heard the conviction that the recovery has been rather one-sided—that the gains of the last 7 years have benefitted a select few while the majority of the population has been left on the sidelines. No matter where you stand politically, the notion of a limited recovery seems to be supported by an analysis of Census Bureau data.

A Tale of Two Counties

According to the Census Bureau, the net increase of new business establishments is just 2.3% since 2010. Compare that with a 6.7% net increase during the 1990 recovery and a 5.6% net increase during the 2000 recovery. What’s worse—over half of the 166,000 new businesses formed in the United States since 2010 are located in just 20 counties. In short, a select few geographic areas are prospering, and the rest of the country is losing businesses and losing jobs at an alarming rate.

Aggressive Oversight and Misplaced Regulation

Touted as the culprits of the financial crash, banks and financial institutions, the drivers of growth since time immemorial, have been forced to tighten their lending requirements. The unintended consequence, of course, is that businesses’ traditional sources of credit have dried up. An enduring irony of the Dodd-Frank Act, which among other things was designed to limit the size of financial institutions, is that its burdensome requirements have actually forced many small community banks out of business—making the Big Banks BIGGER, not smaller.

If a lack of funding weren’t bad enough, businesses are now contending with rising federal regulatory compliance costs and state licensing requirements. And here the bitter irony continues. The new wave of regulations have disproportionally harmed small businesses—the symbol of the American Dream and American industriousness—not the large corporations the regulations were meant to control. A report ordered by the U.S. Small Business Administration found that the per-employee cost of federal regulatory compliance was $10,585 for companies with 19 or fewer employees. Companies with 500 or more employees, by contrast, paid an average of $7,755 per employee to stay compliant. Added to compliance costs are a rapidly multiplying number of state and local licensing requirements. 5% of employees required certificates or licenses in 1950. Today, the number stands at 30%.

A Metaphor for our Economic Ecosystem

There are many apt metaphors that describe what’s happening to the U.S. economy, but one of our favorites has to do with Smoky the Bear and forest fire prevention. Forest fires aren’t pretty, but they’re a natural and necessary phenomenon. They clear away the old, dead wood and give new generations of plants the space they need to grow. If the old, dead wood remains propped up for too long, the ecosystem ends up with less growth, less diversity, and a few individuals soaking up all the sunlight. And when a fire does finally come along, it’s much bigger and more destructive than it ever needed to be.

Boost Working Capital with Capstone

Capstone gives small and midsize businesses that are negatively impacted by Dodd-Frank and other constrictive legislation the working capital needed to seize opportunities for growth. For qualified clients, we provide single invoice factoring, construction factoring and full-contract factoring for work performed under contract with credit-worthy accounts. We have highly experienced professionals on staff to facilitate the purchase of work in progress and progress billing-related accounts receivable. Please visit our homepage for more information.

Interest Rates Predicted to Rise - Capstone Explained

U.S. Economy Picking Up Momentum in Q2; Interest Rates Predicted to Rise

19:56 27 May in Blog

Interest Rates Predicted to Rise - Capstone ExplainedAfter another harsh winter, the American economy is stabilizing and beginning to shrug off concerns of a prolonged slowdown or recession.

According to the latest economic gauges, industrial production is increasing, inflation is firming, and the housing sector is continuing to pick up momentum. All of these factors, combined with data reflecting retail sales rebounds, job gains, and rising consumer confidence, point to improved — though still less than spectacular — growth potential for the second quarter of 2016.

Interest Rates

Fed officials afraid of financial market volatility and poorly performing overseas economies have kept a steady hand on short-term interest rates throughout 2016. A domestic growth rebound in Q2 could be just the inspiration they’ve been looking for to raise rates this summer. Their next opportunities come at the policy meetings scheduled for June, July, and September.

John Williams, President of the San Francisco Fed, recently told the Wall Street Journal that the data is starting to make a strong case for rate increases not just in June, but potentially more than once in the next few policy meetings.

Despite Positives, Some Forecasters Remain Cautious

First quarter 2016 gross domestic product (GDP) increased only 0.5 percent over Q1 2015, but growth might be poised to accelerate.

Since the end of the recession, Q1 GDP growth has consistently been weak, followed by a rebound in Q2. The latest reports of modest but definite growth in highly important sectors would suggest that the same pattern is about to repeat itself in 2016.

Macroeconomic Advisers, a forecasting firm, estimates that GDP will expand at a rate of 2.3 percent this quarter. The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta estimated an even higher growth rate of 2.5 percent.

However, it’s not all sunshine and roses. Despite all the positive data starting to roll in, many forecasters are still leery about the economy’s current health as well as its general outlook for the future. Earlier in May, a Wall Street Journal survey of economists revealed an estimated 20 percent chance of a recession taking place in the U.S. sometime in the next 12 months.

Boost Working Capital with Capstone

For qualified clients, we provide purchase order factoring, single invoice factoring and full-contract factoring for work performed under contract with credit-worthy accounts. We have highly experienced professionals on staff to facilitate the purchase of work in progress and progress billing-related accounts receivable. To learn more, please visit our homepage.

Benefits of Trade Financing

Four Undeniable Benefits of Trade Financing

18:14 17 September in Blog

The trade financing market is valued at around 10 trillion dollars. The question is: how do you align your business to profit from it? More importantly, what is trade financing, and how does it work?

What is Trade Financing? 

In today’s global economy, having an international clientele can mean the difference between business success and business failure. Trade financing is a kind of loan that provides the credit needed to fund international trade.

Here are a few examples of how it works. Let’s say you identify a growing market for your product in Europe, but don’t have the funds to fill orders there. A trade financing agreement will allow you to do it. What if you find a cheaper supplier in Asia, but the shipping costs are too expensive? Trade financing solutions will allow you to start buying the goods right away and repay the loan with the earnings from your new international partnership.

Other Benefits of Trade Financing

1.    Flexibility

Nothing is worse than seeing an opportunity and not being able to take it. Trade financing gives your business the breathing room it needs to grow when the opportunity presents itself. As such, payments can be made to the supplier in their local currency. And repayment is also tailored to the borrowers’ needs. Some agreements call for repayment in 30 to 60 days, while others allow up to four months.

2.    Convenience

Unlike a traditional bank or business loan, trade financing requires very little documentation. Trade financing contracts are clear-cut and straightforward, so you won’t end up getting surprise fees at the end of the transaction. When you work with Capstone, we focus on providing a convenient, excellent experience.

3.    Security

Making transactions with foreign companies may be outside your usual scope. Capstone has years of experience connecting domestic and international businesses, and we’ll be able to give you all the guidance you need.  Both you and your client will have the peace of mind of working with a security guarantee from a renowned financial institution.

4.    Transaction Flow

Funds are available almost immediately, which means you can improve your transaction flow. You’ll be able to keep your inventory or stock without having to pay large amounts upfront. The trade financing credit can be maintained on your books as working capital, not as debt.

For more information on alternative business loans and commercial financing, visit the Capstone homepage. Our previous blog entries have more industry news and analysis.

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