Categories: Podcasts

Finding Business Capital in Today’s Financial Environment 

There’s always a fair amount of risk involved whenever small business owners take out a loan and at a time when they’re facing higher interest rates, it’s understandable that business owners would feel reluctant about shouldering any additional financial burdens. Still, it’s important not to let our current financial climate prevent you from obtaining the finances that you need to grow your business. In this episode, Gene Marks and Brock Blake, CEO of Lendio, discuss how online lending platforms can help small business owners qualify for loans and generate significant profits despite this challenging economy.

Podcast Key Highlights

  • What Do Business Owners Need to Know About Lendio?
    • Lendio’s mission is to help small business owners get access to the capital they need to fuel their dreams.
    • While Lendio itself is not an online lender, the Lendio platform helps facilitate loans by matching small business owners with one of their 75 fully vetted lenders.
    • The application process is free for small business owners.
    • Lendio will help you create a bank account specifically for your business if you don’t already have one.
    • Once Lendio matches you to a suitable lender, it gives you the opportunity to comparison shop all the suitable loan offers.
  • What Types of Financial Service Companies Offer Loans on Lendio?
    • Large Regional Banks
    • Fintech Lenders
    • Specialty Non-Bank Lenders
  • How Are Partnerships between Digital Platforms and Traditional Banks Changing the Financial Landscape?
    • These partnerships are creating a convenient yet secure banking experience for both consumers and business owners.
    • They also enable banks to access unique data from their partner companies so that they can optimize the customer user experience.
  • Why Do I Need a Separate Business Bank Account?
    • Not having one essentially disqualifies you from getting a business loan.
    • Banks can’t underwrite your business when it’s commingled with your personal life and your personal account. It’s too much of a risk.
    • You won’t be eligible for the employee retention tax credit (ERTC) without one.
  • What Lessons Should We Learn From the Recent Collapse of the
    Silicon Valley Banks?
    • It’s important for small business owners to have more than one bank account as a backup.
    • Business owners should also utilize a service that enables them to sweep their capital into other banks if they’ve exceeded the $250,000 FDIC insurance cap. Doing so guarantees that all of their capital will always be insured.
    • It’s in the best interest of the U.S. economy for there to be a good financial distribution of capital to the community banks and regional banks.
    • Hopefully U.S. banks will start to diversify by putting more capital into small business lending since these types of loans have always performed well historically.
  • What Should Small Business Owners Know About Applying for
    Loans in a High Interest Rate Economy?
    • As a business owner, it’s imperative to calculate your ROI; any investment that generates more profit is always a good idea regardless of the potential interest rates.
    • You really need to do your research and select the most competitive business loan option you can find.



The views and opinions expressed on this podcast are for informational purposes only, and solely those of the podcast participants, contributors, and guests, and do not constitute an endorsement by or necessarily represent the views of The Hartford or its affiliates.

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Gene: Welcome to the Small Biz Ahead podcast. We interview great experts and offer advice and tips to help you run your business better. All right, now, away we go. Hey, everybody. Welcome. My name is Gene Marks and welcome back again, whether you’re on video or you are listening to us on your favorite podcast platform. This is the Small Biz Ahead podcast, and again, my name is Gene Marks. I’m here today with Brock Blake. Brock is, we’ve known each other for a while. He is the CEO of Lendio.com. Brock, first of all, thank you very much for joining me.

Brock: It’s always a pleasure to be on with you, Gene.

Gene: It is. We always have good conversations. So first of all, let’s get it right out front. Talk to me and talk to our audience about Lendio, what you guys do and what you do at Lendio.

Brock: Yeah. Lendio, our mission is to help small business owners get access to capital to fuel their dream. And so what does that mean? We’ve aggregated about 75 lenders, business lenders, so line of credit lenders, SBA lenders, equipment lenders, working capital, accounts receivable, commercial real estate, you name it, all onto one platform. And then make it easy for that business owner to, they come to Lendio, it’s free for them, they fill out an application, we match them to the right lender, and then we give them an opportunity to comparison shop the loan offers. So they might get three or four loan offers that you, excuse me, compare the rate, the term, the payment amount and choose the product that’s the best fit for them. We’ve helped hundreds of thousands of small businesses secure over $13 billion of loans.

Gene: You just took the question… I was just going to say, what numbers do you have to share with me about the number of… so hundreds of thousand. How long have you guys been doing this?

Brock: We started the company back in 2011, so now we’re 12 years into it. So probably about a half a million small businesses that we’ve helped.

Gene: That is awesome. And also, just to make sure that for you’re watching this or listening to this, so Lendio, because sometimes people get this confused and shouldn’t. Lendio is not an online lender. You are not lending money. You’re the facilitator, right?

Brock: That’s right.

Gene: You’re the marketplace.

Brock: That’s exactly right. We don’t lend ourselves. We’re the advocate for the borrower. So for the business owner, we want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to help you through that process. It’s online, but we also have a team of, we call funding managers that are there to answer questions, guide you, help you determine, “Okay, which is the best fit,” make sure that you can get ROI from that loan and to find you the best loan you can get. And then the lender pays us. That’s how we make money, just so they know.

Gene: Right, right. Fair enough. We’re going to talk about the financing environments and banking and all that kind of stuff, but can you be a little bit more specific about the types of financial services companies that are on your website that are lending money? Who are them? Is this Wells Fargo that’s on your website or who makes up some of the…

Brock: Yeah, so we don’t have Wells Fargo on our website though, but we have very large kind of regional banks that do different types of loan products. So they might be equipment loan products or SBA products or line of credit products. We have most of the fintech lenders, so you’re looking at the OnDeck Capitals of the world, and we have a lot of specialty non-bank lenders. So you might think of SBA lenders like a Ready Capital, SBA lenders, or Cadence Bank that’s more of a… it’s a smaller community bank. Or Texas National Bank, BayFirst. So we’ve got a mix of specialty lenders that are not banks, banks and fintechs.

Gene: Got it. All right, that’s really helpful. All right, let’s talk about… listen, I can’t think of anybody better to give some thoughts on the overall financing industry and lending industry right now. A few things, we’re recording this, so guys, if you’re listening or watching this, we’re right now in the middle of April as we’re recording this, so I don’t know when this will be published, but it’s still relevant. Just earlier this month, I think just last week actually, Blake, Apple announced, did you read this? They announced a new savings account for people.

Brock: Yes, they did.

Gene: At 4% interest. As a person that’s in this environment, I’m kind of curious to your thoughts on that. Is that something you think small businesses should be interested in?

Brock: Well, I’m not sure Apple is opening up to small businesses yet. I think it’s consumer-focused right now. I assume that they will open it up to small businesses and I love that Apple and others are getting into the banking space. There’s a lot of… And listen, they’re not becoming a bank themselves. They’re built on top of Goldman and leveraging the Goldman Bank charter and whatnot. But being able to provide more options for consumers and small business I think is great. And it forces banks to be a little bit more innovative without being… and what I love honestly is that it’s Apple plus a bank. So the bank’s going to provide the security and the trust and the compliance and regulatory and all that kind of stuff, but the technology company like Apple’s going to provide the attractive user experience to be able to make it super convenient on your phone and other things like that. So there’s going to be a lot more where that came from.

Brock: There’s so much innovation happening. There’s what’s called banking as a service. In fact, Lendio, we’re doing the same thing. We built a Lendio-branded bank account in a mobile app, but we’re not the bank. We’ve leveraged banking as a service technology, but using it to be able to tie into lending to create a unique customer experience and tie it into cash flow and some other things like that. So you can take banking as it was traditionally and say, “What are the unique use cases for the type of our end user that we’re trying to, we’re adding banking plus some other value prop creates real innovation?” And so anyways, I could get excited and talk about this all day long, but I think it’s great options for consumers and small businesses.

Gene: And it excites you because it does expand the options for those for everybody, right?

Brock: That’s right.

Gene: I mean, over the past few years, there are some larger companies, Square, PayPal, Intuit, just to give you an example, they’ve gotten big into merchant advances, which makes sense. The technology is such they can tie into your point of sale system, they can see what your cash flow is and then they can make credit available to you based on that cash flow. Walmart just recently announced that they were going into the digital banking space. So you expect to see more of this, I’m assuming?

Brock: No question. Yeah. Financial services is going to be tied into every different aspect of our lives where they can leverage unique data that that partner might have. So in Square’s capital, they have merchant data, they can leverage that unique data and then create an optimized experience for the user. And there’s going to be a million different use cases for it, and I love it. I think it’s great.

Gene: Yeah, I agree. I’m bullish about it as well. And again, I think businesses will have the choice of deciding what’s right. I mean, listen, if you’re a business and you do a lot of international transactions or you need letters of credit or large significant working capital loans, I get it. Maybe you have to go to a Wells Fargo or a bigger bank or somebody that can provide that. But I mean, let’s face it, there’s a lot of businesses out there that don’t have those needs. They just, simple online checking is fine and they just want something for interest.

Gene: And then, did I ever tell you, I interviewed Marco Rubio a couple of months ago, and we went all the way through the whole PPP and how… because he was one of the guys that sort of created it and I asked if he could do it over again… He said he didn’t even recognize the amount of unbanked businesses that are out there, which it surprised me only because the guy’s from Florida, so there’s a lot of very small immigrant Latino constituency there that have had historically a distrust of government and they tend to keep cash. I don’t know, I think that’s a big opportunity for a lot of corporations and alternatives to bank. They can attract a lot of those. So I think that’s opportunity, too.

Brock: Yeah, for sure. I mean, 30,000 small businesses that come to Lendio a month and applying for a loan do not have a business bank account.

Gene: That’s unbelievable.

Brock: 30,000. And to your point, there’s a company here in Utah, our headquarters are here outside of Salt Lake, that is called Seis, it’s consumer for the Latino community, to be able to get in on a bank, and they are killing it, because they’re providing a great service for a group that was underserved previously, and they’re doing such a great job. So yeah, it’s much bigger than most people recognize.

Gene: Because you’re in this business, 30,000… did you say 30,000 a year?

Brock: A month.

Gene: A month.

Brock: A month.

Gene: Why does that complicate a business’s efforts to get financing? When somebody comes to you and says, “We’re looking for financing,” and then you’re like, “Okay, well,” and then they’re like, “Oh, we just have a checking account. I’ve got a family account.” Maybe not even a checking account. What would you say to them…

Brock: It pretty much disqualifies them from a loan, a business loan.

Gene: Yeah.

Brock: Now, we might be able to explore other options that are more consumer, they’re going to underwrite you as a consumer, that then you can use the capital for your business. But the reason why is because it just is too much risk. The bank can’t really underwrite your business because it’s so commingled with your personal life and your personal account. They can’t tell, is this a job or is this that you’re getting paid your W2, or is this a small business? What expenses are tied to the business? Is the business profitable or not? It’s just you don’t have any clarity. Most banks, when they’re trying to underwrite, they got to go pull your business bank account data and they’re going to do a bunch of cash flow analysis and they’re going to determine the health of that business. But when it’s commingled with all your personal stuff, it’s really hard for anyone to underwrite and determine the risk threshold.

Brock: Most lending institutions basically just say you have to have a business bank account, which makes sense why we’ve kind of been testing this Lendio-branded bank account. Okay, well, if you’re one of those 30,000, let’s first help you get a business bank account. First thing’s first. Let’s get it open, let’s try and separate personal from business. And then, in a few months, when we’ve got some clean data, now we can come back and consider a loan opportunity.

Gene: So if you’re watching this or listening to this and you don’t have a business banking account or a checking account, I hope this persuades you to do that. Not only was a it a big problem, you might not have been able to get PPP money because of it back in the day… and by the way, there’ll be other government programs that are going to be using PPP as a model, so you’re potentially hurting yourself. But then secondly, like you’re saying, Blake, is the amount of people that were financing without… they can’t get that financing unless they have that business checking account.

Brock: Well, to your point, other programs, let me just mention this one real quick, and I know we had Skylar on our team come and chat with you about this, but tax credits. So right now, it’s a form of capital in our mind, there’s the employee retention tax credit, or most call it ERC or ERTC. If you didn’t file a business tax return during that timeframe, even if other reasons, say, you might have qualified for that tax credit, you’re not going to be able to get it. The point is you have to be able to separate your personal and your business taxes, your personal and business financials and your personal and business bank account. Otherwise, I think we’d pretty much have to underwrite you as a consumer. But this tax credit is a great option for small business owners that kept their employees during the pandemic. And if we look at the profile and there’s no business tax return, it’s not likely you’re going to qualify.

Gene: And guys, before we leave this topic, because I do want to talk about the banking industry in general, the employee retention tax credit is a tax credit that if you were in operation during 2020 and 2021, most of the quarters, and you had employees and you paid your employees and you paid payroll taxes and you were affected by COVID, either partially or fully shut down or you had a revenue shortfall as well, you may be able to get some of your payroll taxes back. I mean, there’s as much as $7,000 per employee for a quarter. It could be significant for a lot of business. This is a form of financing, right, Blake? I keep calling you Blake, Brock, and I’m so sorry.

Brock: It’s okay. Two first names, two last names. You call me Brock, Blake or anything else you want, Gene.

Gene: I’ve got this reverse thing going on. I’m like, “Yeah.” But true, right, Brock? I mean, this is a form of financing that a lot of businesses… and Lendio offers the services to determine if you’re eligible.

Brock: That’s right.

Gene: And then if you are eligible, to basically file the amended payroll tax returns, the 941 returns, to get that refund back. Do you have anything to add to that?

Brock: Yeah, so that’s exactly right, and again, the business owner can come to Lendio. We’ve built an online application that’s kind of like TurboTax that helps you really evaluate whether you qualify. And the points that you made are exactly right. You had to be in business 2020 and/or 2021, you had to have been impacted by COVID, meaning you were shut down or there was a government sanction that kept you out of business or reduced your business or supply chain or revenue reduction. And we take it very seriously to help you qualify, meaning we’re not going to… and we have really highly trained professional tax accountants that are going to make sure that we go through that process with you. The last thing we want you to do is to be able to apply for or say you’re approved for something and the IRS determines you’re not.

Brock: I know there are organizations that are just trying to maximize the amount of capital you can get. That’s not us. We want to do it right, and so save you headaches down the road. But it is a formal capital. It is a check that is coming back to you from the IRS. Now, it takes on average about six months for you to be able to get access to that capital, but it is a form of capital because you’re just getting a check back from the IRS up to 26,000 per employee that you retained during the timeframe. We’ve had applicants get as much as a million to $2 million in returns.

Gene: Crazy.

Brock: In a check. It is.

Gene: Crazy. Yeah, the takeaway is your accountant could probably help with this, your payroll service company can help with this, Lendio can help with this. Again, particularly if you’re in the restaurant business, I mean, I know in Philly, man, we were under lockdown and shut down. Just even partially shut down, like you couldn’t have any in-room dining. Those kinds of things may qualify you.

Okay. Enough said about the employee retention tax credit, enough said about having a bank account in order to get financing. You and I are preaching to everybody. Let’s talk about your overall banking environments, okay?

Brock: Okay.

Gene: So again, a few weeks ago, again, we’re here in the middle of April, a few weeks ago, big banking crisis. Silicon Valley Bank goes down, they collapse, some other banks, Signature, Republic Finance, Credit Suisse. So I have a lot of clients coming to me and saying like, “Holy mackerel, is everything blowing up? Should I be putting money under my mattress? Or at the very least, should I be moving to some big huge institution because we’re having a banking crisis?” So, Brock, are we having a banking crisis? Give us your thoughts on what’s going on there and what you’re telling your clients.

Brock: Yeah. I mean, I think there’s a perfect storm that has kind of mounted into what happened with SVB and with Signature, and I would not call it a banking crisis. I would believe that it is isolated, but it’s created a significant amount of fear. And especially in this day and age where kind of Twitter and other social media platforms can spread news so quickly. What happened was there was a run on the bank and $40 billion left Silicon Valley Bank’s balance sheet in a matter of hours. And that is very scary, and there is reason why it was important that the Fed stepped in.

Brock: We were banking and our banking was Signature. I had a heart attack because we had many millions of dollars in the bank with Signature on one Sunday afternoon when I saw the thing come across that they’d been shut down, and didn’t know if we were going to have access to the capital. So all I can speak on is more about my viewpoint and it’s the viewpoint of Brock Blake, and then I can opine on the market as well, but I don’t think… what we have done, we’ve stuck with Signature because we have a relationship there. We have a loan facility there and we have access to all of our funds, and it’s backed by the FDIC. But we’ve done a few things to be able to take some precautions.

Brock: Number one is we’ve gone out and we have opened another bank account. We haven’t really moved a lot of capital or any capital there, but what it kind of taught me was the last time you want to go and try and open an account is when your bank gets shut down or when you need it. So having that backup was good. Second thing we did is now there’s, and this is a little bit, this is for another day’s discussion, but there’s services now that allow you to sweep your capital if you have more than the 250,000 that’s FDIC insured. Yep. They’ll sweep that capital on a daily basis and distribute it, 250,000 a pop, into all these other banks. So all of your capital is always insured. And that’s a little bit of, somebody said it’s a little bit of a loophole, but it gives you some confidence around it.

Brock: I know a lot of capital flow into the very large banks. I believe it’s for the best interest of the U.S. economy that there is good financial distribution to the community banks and regional banks in the U.S. for a bunch of different reasons. Community banks are usually more likely to be able to give access to capital, especially to business owners in their community because they understand the community. They might have relationships. The risk is now not an arm’s length transaction. It may be a little bit more knowledgeable and understanding. Most of the time, the community banks are more aggressive in their willingness to give capital to small businesses. And I don’t think that having just four banks and everyone being dependent in all their capital in those four banks is in the best interest, because we can see it’s happened in other markets and there’s some definite downsides to that.

Brock: We have kept with Signature Bank. I think Signature Bank will be sold to a different partner, and we’re kind of waiting that through because right now it doesn’t represent risk. So I don’t see it as a banking crisis, but it sure has created a lot of fear and a lot of take a step back to say, “Okay, we got to evaluate what happened here. What did happen and how do we prevent it in the future?”

Gene: Yeah. Did it cause you to just roll your eyes and make you lose a little bit of faith in the… I mean, I’m sure you saw The Big Short, the movie, which was fantastic, with Steve Carrell and all these people making these bets and they don’t know really what they’re doing.

Brock: Right.

Gene: And then you get people like at Silicon Valley Bank, very, very smart people that really miscalculated the impact that these rising interest rates would have. I mean, you described it right, there was 40 billion that disappear from the bank, so it was a big run on the bank assets once people figured out that they weren’t managing, they were all illiquid in treasuries. And you think to yourself, I mean, everybody and their mother knew a year ago that interest rates are going up and you hear these guys keep plowing money into investments that go down if you don’t hold them to maturity in a raising and straight world. Anyway, has it made you take a step back and made you think harder about the people that you’re doing business with, some of the people running some of these financial services companies? And do you think that business owners should be doing the same?

Brock: Yeah. I mean, no question. I think it would have been very hard to evaluate Silicon Valley Bank or Signature Bank. I’m sorry, I’ve got my dog in background, hopefully it’s not too loud.

Gene: Oh, no worries, Brock.

Brock: But I think it would’ve been extremely challenging for a normal consumer or normal business owner to evaluate Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank and uncover that they were at risk and all the credibility-

Gene: Yeah.

Brock: Yeah. And that’s not what we want, right? That’s why you’ve got regulators. The fact that the regulators, I mean, it was so complex that the regulators didn’t even uncover it. And it’s not like we want to put that onus or the responsibility on the consumer or the business owner, it’s just because we’re not experts on that. So I don’t even know how you could have prevented it. I will say that from our perspective, I think that Signature Bank and Silicon Valley Bank, I don’t think they knew where else to put that capital. They had a lot of deposits. They knew they needed to get some sort of return on those deposits, and so they did what they’ve always done, which is put it in kind of mortgage-backed securities, and then as the rates just kept rising, they got upside down and then they were just, they didn’t know what else to do. I hope that what happens is that banks now start to, and this is to the benefit of the business owner, so this is my opinion on it, right?

Gene: Yep.

Brock: Is that banks, I hope, now are thinking in a diversified way around, “Okay, I’ve got capital on my balance sheet. I need to get return on that capital, so I need to make investments.” And either you’re going to do it through lending or mortgage-backed securities is some form to do it. I hope that what happens is they start putting more capital into small business lending, because small business lending historically has performed well, there’s higher margin than mortgage and auto, and I think that it’s an opportunity to create some diversification. And so you’re not just putting it all into some of these mortgage-backed securities. So I’m obviously a proponent of small business owners and I think that’d be good for the economy and I think it’d be good for the bank if they’re able to underwrite appropriately and that there’s margin. So I hope that’s one of the outcomes and one of the learnings from all of this.

Gene: We just have a few minutes left and you’ve been great. Thank you. So again, we’re here at up this higher interest environment now. It was literally a year ago when the Fed funds rate, which is the rate that the Federal Reserve loans money to the banks, was I think at 0.25% and now it’s at 5%. It’s like a 20 times increase in a year. So that clearly has an enormous impact throughout the system, and it takes a while for that impact to start showing up. And I wrote about this back in December for The Guardian saying that in 2023, interest is going to be our number one issue for businesses. And I’m seeing it, Brock, in a lot of my clients now. They’re going for refinance their loans, they need more working capital, or they want to buy some equipment. The prime rate’s like 8% now. They’re looking at 9, 10, 11%. A lot of them are saying, “This is becoming unaffordable for me to do,” so they’re not making the investments, they’re not buying inventory. It’s an issue.

Gene: So on the other side, there’s those growth stage companies. Credit is, because of what’s happened in the system, credit is becoming less available. Banks are becoming that much more sort of circling their wagons. So as somebody who runs a company who provides this marketplace of financing alternatives, what do you say to somebody who is looking for financing in 2023, a small business? What would be their best options? And do you feel like it’s starting to get too expensive for some of your customers to get financing? And that is a potential impact not only on your business, but on the economy.

Brock: Yeah, I mean, there’s no question. And that’s the reality of the market that we’re in that, and that’s what the Fed’s trying to do. They’re trying to slow things down.

Gene: Yeah. That’s what they’re trying to do.

Brock: So that’s exactly what they’re trying to do and obviously it’s working. They’re not going to lower the rates until inflation gets down to less than 3%. That’s the target. It’s got to be. It used to be closer to two and a half.

Gene: Yeah.

Brock: So my guess is we’re going to see another increase in rates, and then I think they’ll hold, but we’ll see. The thing about it is for years and years and years, we’ve kind of conditioned our mind that a certain rate is a good rate and a certain rate is a bad rate. If it’s 4 or 5%, that’s a good rate, and if it’s 8 or 9, that’s a bad rate.

Gene: I know exactly where you’re going with this. Keep going.

Brock: Right?

Gene: Yep. It’s got to make sense.

Brock: And we’ve talked about this before.

Gene: Yeah.

Brock: But as a business owner, this is where you really need to be able to do the ROI calculator, pull it out and understand, “Okay, I know the cost of capital is going to be higher, and what is the opportunity and will I be able… ” again, I’ve talked about this with you. I’ve said if the business owner’s going to increase their revenue, getting a mortgage does not mean you’re going to increase your income in any way. But most of the time with businesses when you’re going out to get capital, it’s because you’re doing it for a specific reason. You’re going to open a new location, you’re going to buy some equipment that’s going to allow you to generate more revenue. You’re going to hire employees that’s going to increase your revenue, you’re going to increase your marketing, that’s going to drive more revenue. So you need to be able to leverage the, do the ROI calculation. If I get this capital, even if it’s at a higher rate than it used to be, can I get ROI? And if the answer is yes, then the reality is that’s the market. Then it may be a really, really good decision.

Brock: I’ve said before, you know, you could get a 25% rate, and if it creates an ROI, a really good ROI, you could pay that loan off in six months or whatever, and your revenue increased by five grand a month, it may be the best decision you ever made. You could get a 4% rate or a 3% rate, and you actually weren’t able to generate increased revenue and there’s no ROI on it and it could be the worst loan that you ever got in your life. And so it’s all about ROI. So that’s the first thing.

The second thing is, this is a little bit selfish, and I’m giving that disclaimer up upfront, but a business owner, don’t just take the first product that you get. Be able to say, “I want to really test the market. I want to know, is this the best loan option I can get? And so I want to compare A versus B versus C, and okay, C is the best product that’s going to give me the best ROI.” And I think that’s one of the services we’re trying to be able to help that business owner in a tough market like this.

Gene: Sure.

Brock: It is imperative that you get the best option, and so let’s do some comparison shopping. Let’s let our lenders to compete a little bit to be able to get your business. It’s the reality of the market. There’s not much we can do about it. The lenders have a cost of capital that’s increased, so they got to increase their rates to small business owners. And so we’re going to have to just buckle down and get through it. I think the other option…. but I will say, lenders are lending. The rates are higher, but lenders are lending. Last month we had a record month of lending. Now, that includes other options like the ERC tax credit.

Gene: Sure, sure.

Brock: When a business owner comes to us, one of the questions we’re going to ask them is, “Okay, yeah, let’s help you get an SBA loan or let’s help you get an equipment loan or let’s help you get a cash flow loan, but have you also considered this tax credit? Have you done that yet? And let’s see if you qualify because it’s not free money because nothing’s free, but it’s basically a check that you get from your taxes.” So long-winded answer, but it’s the reality of the situation, and I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It’s just that this is the market we’re in and we got to wait it out, but it doesn’t mean we should pause and stop trying to move our businesses forward.

Gene: Right. Great advice and well taken. Brock Blake is the CEO of Lendio at Lendio.com. Brock, thank you so much for joining, again. Your insights are great, and the reason why I love talking to you is because you’re agnostic when it comes to financing. So rather than talking to somebody from a specific bank that’s trying to jam their messaging down your throat, you’re looking at the entire industry and considering all the different options. And I just think it’s… Lendio provides great services, but your insights are really, they’re objective and I appreciate it. So thanks so much for joining.

Brock: Yeah, thanks for having me, Gene. It’s always fun.

Gene: It is always fun. Hey, everybody, you’ve been watching and listening to the Hartford Small Biz Ahead podcast. My name is Gene Marks. If you need any advice or tips or help in running your business, please visit us at smallbizahead.com or SBA.thehartford.com. Thanks again for watching or listening. We will see you again shortly. Take care.

Gene: Thanks so much for joining us on this week’s episode of the Hartford Small Biz Ahead podcast. If you like what you hear, please give us a shout-out on your favorite podcast platform. Your ratings, reviews, and your comments really help us formulate our topics and help us grow this podcast, so thank you so much. It’s been great spending time with you. We’ll see you again soon.

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View Comments (2)

  • Great interview. We would love to talk to you about the work that Experian is doing to help unbanked small businesses enter the credit system.

    • We're glad you liked it, Gary! I passed your email along to our podcast producer. Thank you for the comment!

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