Minority Contracts: How they work and getting funding

09:08 01 July in Blog, Business Funding

The federal government awards more contracts than nearly any other business in the United States. As part of a commitment to providing help to small businesses, the government commits to offering slightly more than 20 percent of all contracts to small business owners, including women-owned and minority owned businesses. Before obtaining a contract however, a business must apply for minority-owned business status.

What is a minority owned business?

These are business entities which have received certification as a minority-owned business. According to Minority and Women Business Enterprises (MWBE) a business may be certified if they are:

A minority-owned business is a for-profit enterprise, regardless of size, physically located in the United States or its trust territories, which is owned, operated and controlled by minority group members. “Minority group members” are United States citizens who are Women, Asian, Black, Hispanic and Native American.

Obtaining minority contracts

During 2017, 9.8 percent of all government contracts were awarded to minority-owned businesses. This means if a business meets the minority requirements of a contract, they have the right to bid on that contract. The bid process is done through a government process. Depending on various factors, the department in need of services may file an Invitation for Bid (IFB), Request for Proposals (RFP), or Request for Quotes (RFQ). Typically, the business would respond to these requests online.

The other steps include bid submission, oral presentations, and finally a contract may be awarded. The challenges are just beginning of course because finding the necessary capital could be a challenge if a small business has cash flow issues. Having the capital to fulfill the terms of the contract is important because not only do you have to abide by the contract terms, but failure to do so could mean you are unable to secure future contracts from the government, or from other companies who have committed to working with the minority company owner’s community.

Cash-flow issues plague many businesses

One of the most important things you should remember is that your business is not unique if you are experiencing cash-flow issues. Businesses of all sizes, particularly small and mid-sized businesses, face these challenges on a regular basis. While being awarded a contract is very exciting, the fact is that your local bank or a venture capital company may be hesitant to provide capital for you to get started working on fulfilling the contract, this can be problematic for numerous reasons. Facts are facts, we often need money to make money.

This is when Capstone Capital Group can step in and help you get the capital you need to get started on the contract today. We have helped minority business owners who manage small or medium sized businesses secure the capital they need using innovative techniques designed specifically to meet their needs. We will assess your current contract, and help you determine what type of funding will best meet your needs. Whether you need to secure a working capital loan, or determine that factoring is your best option, you can feel confident that we will work with you to get you the necessary capital.

Whether your contract is with another company who elects to work with you because of your minority status, or you have been awarded and are now working on a government contract, talk to one of our professional representatives today about our diverse funding programs. Let us work with you and design a program that meets your needs and helps your business continue to thrive in this competitive marketplace. You can reach us by telephone at (212) 755-3636 or email [email protected].

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.

Action on Climate Change Boosts NY Construction - Scope explained by Capstone

Action on Climate Change Boosts NY Construction

21:33 15 March in Blog

Action on Climate Change Boosts NY Construction - Scope explained by CapstoneNew York State has experienced much warmer temperatures over the past thirty to forty years, and the sea level along New York’s coast has increased about 12 inches over the past 100 years. Though past trends do not necessarily predict future trends, New York officials are indicating with their investments that a real threat exists.

The threat of rising sea levels has stimulated construction and infrastructure investment across the world, but nowhere has that investment been greater than in New York. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal cited a University College of London study that found New York City outspends all other megacities in countermeasures to rising sea levels, with $2.2 billion alone in the last year.

The predicted challenges of climate change would affect many sectors including water, energy, communication, and transportation—and this means that New York construction firms, contractors, and subcontractors would be a key part of the solution.

Infrastructure Challenges and Construction Opportunities in New York

The Responding to Climate Change in New York State report (ClimAID) published in 2014 identifies numerous transportation, water, and architectural challenges that could impact New York. It also identifies solutions to these challenges—and all of them suggest a significant increase in construction investment in the coming years.

Infrastructure Challenges

• Increased strain on road surface materials
• Stress on electricity grid
• Delays in railroad schedules
• Sagging of large bridges
• Decreased clearance on waterway bridges
• Traffic and public transportation delays
• Reduced building lifespan
• Increased impact of ships and barges

Construction Opportunities

• Convert water managers to handle large variability
• Install more pumps, water tanks, and filters for water supply systems
• Install leak detection systems, low-flow devices, and rainwater harvesting systems
• Upgrade combined sewer and stormwater systems
• Relocate aging infrastructure out of flood-prone areas and construct levees and berms
• Replace old transformers and wiring with heat-resistant models
• Increase seat length of expansion joints on bridges and lengthen airport runways
• Increase capacity of drainage systems and culverts
• Invest in permeable road surfaces and regrade slopes to direct runoff away from roads and tunnels
• Move communication cables underground

What Does it Mean for You?

New York is directing around $20 billion of local, state and federal funding to complete numerous long-term construction projects designed to mitigate the effects of climate change. Half of that money will go to coastal protection and urban drainage projects, which means huge opportunities are on the horizon for general contractors and subcontractors.

Single Invoice Factoring for Qualified Subcontractors

For qualified subcontractors, Capstone provides single invoice factoring for work performed under contract with a creditworthy general contractor. Capstone has highly experienced construction professionals on staff to facilitate the purchase of construction-related accounts receivable. For more information, read our blog, visit Capstone Capital Group homepage, or contact us today.

Booming Rent to Continue explained by Capstone

Builders Betting on Booming Rent to Continue—Should They?

22:47 22 January in Blog

Real estate investors are betting, perhaps mistakenly, that the six-year trend of rising rents in luxury urban apartment units will continue. Likewise, developers are hoping it will be worth their time, and money, to continue building them. According to research conducted by Axiometrics Inc., developers have built nearly 900,000 new urban apartment rental units over the past three years. This number is expected to climb by roughly 100,000, over the next three years, approaching one million new apartment units.

The Numbers

There were 328,000 multifamily apartment units built in 2014, the most in any given year in the past 30 years, according to Jed Kolko at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at Berkeley. Since early 2010, rents have increased by over 20%. In 2015, real estate research firm Reis Inc. reports that, nationally, average rents rose by 4.6%. Demand for apartments remains high, and economists generally expect this trend to continue through 2016. But all this construction may correlate poorly with actual demand. Contractors are overwhelmingly focused on the higher end of the market, and many new multifamily properties being built are only affordable to renters making twice to four times the median income in their area.

Developers Flocking to High-End Construction

Many contractors that have previously worked in other market sectors have now moved into luxury multifamily urban apartments. Whether their background was in single-family homes, office buildings, or retail space, many have been drawn by the promise of huge profits from luxury, high-rent buildings.

Doubts in the Industry

Though optimism in housing is high at the moment, some contractors aren’t confident that the bull market for luxury apartment will continue much longer. “People are working against the clock right now,” said Jaime Lee, CEO of Jamison Realty Inc. “We’re coming to market as quickly as we can.” Lee thinks the market could start to slow in the next few years, which is an expectation shared by many economists. Statistics show that vacancies in the suburbs are declining, even as vacancies in certain urban areas have begun to rise. This trend may indicate that people are starting to feel the effects of high rents and are now looking outside of cities for housing.

The demand for new apartments is very real, but new construction, by focusing on the higher end of the rent spectrum, might have drifted too far from the typical renter’s budget.

Working with Capstone

For qualified subcontractors, Capstone provides single invoice factoring for work performed under contract with a creditworthy general contractor. We have highly experienced construction professionals on staff to facilitate the purchase of construction-related accounts receivable factoring. For more information, visit our homepage, or contact us today.

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Bronx

20:40 15 May in Blog
Claritza Wilshire, Business Development Officer at Capstone Capital Group, LLC attended the Sixteenth Annual Bronx Banker’s Breakfast.  The meeting was hosted by the Business Initiative Corporation of New York (BICNY) and BronxBorough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.
The meeting focused on revitalization of the Bronx’s economic activity and financial projections. The event was part of the several ceremonies commemorating the 100thAnniversary of the Bronx.
Capstone Capital Group, LLC attended with the following institutions: Citibank, Popular Community Bank, Rite Check, Capital One Bank, Hudson Valley Community Bank, Bethex Federal Credit Union, JP Morgan Chase, Ponce De Leon FSB, Spring Bank, Webster Bank, Wells Fargo, Apple Bank, Flushing Savings Bank, M&T Bank, Signature Bank, IDS Corporation, Monroe College, US Small Business Administration, SBDC at Lehman College and SCORE.
Capstone Capital Group, LLC is committed to supporting the development and redevelopment of Bronx infrastructure projects thru its funding programs.
Subcontractors who are winning bidders can rely on Capstone Capital Group, LLC factor programs to assist them in meeting their contractual obligations, working capital needs and supplier credit facilities.
Is it time for your company to partner with Capstone and arrange a factoring facility for your working capital needs? Call us today at (212) 755-3636 or visit our website at www.capstonetrade.com.
View our photos from the Sixteenth Annual Bronx Banker’s Breakfast:
Marlene Cintron, President of BICNY and Claritza Wilshire, Capstone Business Development Office
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. and Claritza Wilshire, Capstone Business Development Office
Madeline V. Marque, VP of BICNY, Claritza Wilshire, Capstone Business Development Office and Ruben Diaz, Sr.

Deceptive Headlines: Read the Fine Print

19:30 06 February in Blog
A headline from the Money & Investing section of The Wall Street Journal on January 30, 2014 was “U.S. Banks Start to Ease Limits on Lending”.  What a casual observer would glean from such a headline is that the banks are open for new Business Loans.  The article starts out very hopeful by describing how the new bank lending standards will “underpin” economic growth.  As the data illustrates the positive trend of underwriting standard easement, the reporter waits until the very end to point out that “The trend extended to credit-card, auto and large corporate loans…”
Ironically, large corporate borrowers are the ones fortunate enough with access to the corporate bond market for long-term inexpensive debt capital.  These borrowers have no need for Bank Loans unless they are making an acquisition or have a short-term borrowing need that was not accounted for when budgets were formulated for the upcoming fiscal year. 
Most readers of this blog are small business owners.  Small business owners end up being the ones with very limited options when it comes to Bank Financing.  Typically under pressure for immediate financing, these businesses are more likely to be rejected while going through a bank’s underwriting process for a multitude of reasons related to risk, balance sheet, and other financial issues.  Undoubtedly the first and foremost priority of banks is compliance with banking regulators which is discouraging to these enterprises.  The demographic relies on second tier financing companies like Capstone Capital Group, LLC to help with Working Capital and Contract Funding requirements.
The article goes on to say that small businesses have been hesitant to borrow because of uncertainty related to the Affordable Care Act and rising taxes.  On the contrary, most companies want to grow regardless of the regulation coming out of Washington D.C.  The reason why Small Business Funding have been trending down is that more and more banks are not able to offer them.  As a consequence, Alternative Financing has been the driving force that is providing working capital to small businesses.  This financing comes in the form of Factoring, Purchase Order Funding, and Trade Finance solutions.  Clients who are able to use these funding and financing techniques are growing and thriving regardless of the economic environment.  It is one of the true bright spots in the uneven economic recovery we have all experienced from time to time over the last six years as we run our business operations and try to grow.

Look Out Below!

13:47 31 January in Blog

Is your head spinning? 

Depending on what you are reading, the economy is now declining after retail sales have been calculated for the holiday season.  Durable goods orders are down, new housing starts have slowed and car sales are expected to plummet.  Emerging markets are taking a hit because the Federal Reserve (Fed) is pulling back on quantitative easing.  Banks cannot lend any longer for leveraged buyouts.  Banks are limiting their exposure to any business that they feel will require more than normal due diligence whether they require loans or simply deposit accounts.  It looks like the world is ending in the macro economy.
All of these events could affect your business if you let them.  We have learned that opportunity is always out there in the micro economy.  You may remember from your freshman year of college the difference between microeconomics and macroeconomics.  At Capstone Capital Group, LLC, we are focused on the microeconomics of your local economy and sniffing out opportunities there.  These opportunities are created by regional differences and influences throughout the United States.
The quantity of substantial infrastructure projects currently planned in every part of the country is unprecedented.  How much of this work are you going after?  Never before has so much emphasis been placed on set aside work for disadvantaged business enterprises (DBE) including minority owned (MBE), women owned (WBE) and veteran owned (VOB)businesses.  How much of this work can your company bid on?  Don’t get caught up in all of the political double speak that takes up so much of the news.  Focus in on your micro market, your sphere of influence and Grow Your Business.
For the last five years each Business Cycle began with much promise early on in the year and by the end of April the promise had evaporated.  Yet the stock market and housing market continued to grow due to the Fed’s Quantitative Easing.  Now that the Fed is reducing its bond-buying program, everyone fears the economy will retract. 
For those in the Construction Industry, once the funds are committed to an infrastructure project, the project will continue until it is finished regardless of economic conditions.  The same does not apply to the private sector.  It’s time to sharpen your pencils and let the noise play in the back ground while you bid on the work that is out there.  Be aggressive and grow your business.  Capstone Capital Group, LLC is here to help you with Contract Funding to support the bids you will win this year while you defy the economists who are predicting “doom and gloom” for the macro economy.

Download our Two Guides - Restarting your Business Post Covid & Turning your PPP Loan into a Grant

Capstone Capital Group, LLC wants to help you make sure your planning is flawless, which is why we are offering these free guides to help you get back to business on a sound financial footing.

Download

    Logo

    Privacy & Terms