The visual is stunning when you walk into Bainbridge Eye Care Associates in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Calming shades of gray offset a trendy boutique experience. Gorgeous farmhouse doors define a homey but modern office space. It’s a visual package that’s perfect, but the financing behind it is an even better sight to behold.
Since opening in 2004, Bainbridge Eye Care Associates had a very loyal customer base that visited its 1,400-square-foot space in a small shopping center. But as customers increased, so did the need for more space to support them comfortably. Owner and optometrist Todd Bainbridge wanted to triple his space in a 4,200-square-foot building located just four miles from the original location. He wanted to buy the building, instead of continuing to rent, and he needed plenty of funding to renovate.
Working with Seedcopa and partner Fulton Bank, Bainbridge Eye Care was able to secure a $1.5 million SBA 504 loan to purchase the dream building and renovate on 700 W Nields Street in West Chester, PA. 50% of the loan was covered by the bank, 40% was covered by the SBA and 10% was covered by the borrower.
Now Bainbridge Eye Care has additional retail space, an extra exam room, a private office as well as a staff break room. The new facility also provides a calming but professional retreat for parents who turn to Bainbridge for children and infant care services, including for nonverbal patients being tested for normal development of the visual cortex.
SBA 504 loans are ideal for applicants whose business model benefits their community directly, either by providing jobs or bringing needed services to an underserved area. Bainbridge Eye Care was able to demonstrate its participation in multiple no-cost programs for patients, including InfantSee and VisionUSA, which provide free eye care services to infants and eligible people in need. Additional key points for SBA 504 loans include:
- Interest rates are fixed for the life of the loan. The term and rate of the loan is either 10, 20 or 25 years.
- Total projects can be over $12 million and even larger for manufacturers.
- The SBA 504 loan requires equity from the borrower that can be as little as 10 percent.
- Depending on the appraised value, no further collateral beyond the subject property or equipment is required.
- Many fees and costs can be wrapped into the total project.