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Florida CEOs answer: Is credit available from lenders?

software
Mike Vollmar
CEO - Raydon - Port Orange

Mike Vollmar
[Photo: Martin Christopher]

"Raydon is fortunate to work in a growth industry, simulation training. We have a good history of growth and financial performance. We worked closely with Fifth Third Bank on the whole project. They've helped us with appropriate credit lines as we've continued to grow. When we moved here in September, we had approximately 260 employees. We have approximately 320 now."

Juan Vega
[Photo: Daniel Portnoy]

Manufacturing
Juan Vega
President - Britt Metal Processing - Miami Gardens

"The consensus is that banks are no longer lending against inventory. There are no banks anywhere lending against receivables. So they force you to go to factoring. Prior to the meltdown in 2008, we had a credit line. They allowed you up to 75% of your receivables and up to 40% to 50% of inventory. Now they don't allow anything. In our industry, we have a very long conversion period — the time I acquire the material to the time I collect. Since I don't have enough credit to cover that span, it restrains me from growing."


Todd Kocourek
[Photo: Ray Stanyard]

Economic Development
Todd Kocourek
President - Florida First Capital Finance - Tallahassee

"We work with excellent business bankers and community bankers throughout Florida. We are partners and allies in trying to solve these problems, but they're big problems. It is still tight. It's certainly better than last year. Until the credit supply and demand rebalances, Florida businesses are going to be creating fewer jobs than they otherwise would."


Manufacturing
Brooke Whitaker
Vice President - DeLand Metal Craft Co. - DeLand

Brook Whitaker
[Photo: Tara Koenke]

"We put a lot on credit in order to make it through the downturn of the last few years. I wanted a better rate to pay everything down. I was told we would not qualify. It really was upsetting to me. It would be nice to have a bank loan. They said we weren't what anyone was looking for. It's a third-generation business. We're a small company employing generally nine to 10 people. Never even laid off people. We never were late as a business. We're still extremely busy."

Manufacturing
Al Stimac
President - Machining Solutions and Metal Essence Manufacturers Association of Florida - Altamonte Springs

Al Stimac
[Photo: Gregg Matthews]
"I just recently went through SBA. I'm doing a new building, and I wanted to move and expand. We wanted to create some jobs. The big problem is SBA 504. It's a great program if you can survive the whole process. The way it works, the business owner puts in a minimum equity of 10%. The first mortgage does 50% and then a certified development company finances the remaining 40%. The problem becomes during the interim period, the primary lender is fully exposed to the loss on the 90%. That is the portion that is very difficult. Thank goodness in my own case I had good credit. Even then it was extremely difficult. I almost quit three times. I finally ended up closing on it. I worked with Florida First Capital. They did really an outstanding job of supporting me."


Apartment Development
Joel Altman
Chairman - Altman Cos. - Boca Raton

Joel Altman
[Photo: Jeffrey Burnell]

"If it's for apartments. There's a greater availability today than there was 12 to 18 months ago. For the right property and the right sponsor, there is money available at the right leverage factor. Where we used to leverage it at 80% loan-to-cost or loan-to-value, today it's probably 60% to 70%. I've never seen the rental apartment business with the metrics as good as they are. I think the banks recognize that."