Featured Small Business Lending Article

Small Business Lending

Jeffrey Sweeney is an investment banker with years of experience in direct lending and corporate finance for small- to middle-market companies. He is the chairman and CEO of US Capital Partners, an innovator in small- to middle-market business lending. US Capital Partners has been providing prompt, innovative, and reliable financing solutions across the United States and abroad for more than a decade.

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Bridging the Disconnect Between Banks and Borrowers


US Capital Partners’ approach to small business lending bridges the divide between traditional banks and borrowers, thereby providing optimal and efficient financing solutions.

Traditional banks have been eager to limit their loan exposure, but have simultaneously been under strong and mounting pressure to lend to small businesses. Many have responded to these conflicting pressures by reporting that there are simply not enough smaller businesses looking for loans that meet their lending criteria. Meanwhile, smaller businesses continue to report that they are being turned down for loans, or that loans have been called in early or availability suddenly reduced—often despite good business performance.

Smaller Businesses Seeking Financing

This seeming paradox in fact highlights something important: an ongoing divide between traditional banks and borrowers. Evidence suggests that there continues to be strong demand for loans. According to one recent report, 39% of businesses with annual revenue of $5–100 million attempted to raise outside financing in the past six months. The difficulty is that many such businesses don’t know how to find the right lenders for their particular needs. Also, when they do approach a lender, they often don’t know how to present their application in the most favorable way, from a lender’s perspective. As a result, their application is rejected, or they don’t receive the best availability and terms.

Traditional Approaches to Small Business Lending

Meanwhile, traditional lenders may not always take the trouble to properly understand a business. This is because they tend to view themselves solely as “lenders,” rather than as “business partners.” Consequently, some banks will fail to adopt a strategic perspective that furthers the customer’s long-term interests. As a result, they may set up financing structures that are short-term in outlook and that in the end constrain the company and hinder its growth. Also, they may ask for more collateral than they actually require, or impose covenants that create unnecessary problems for the business later on.

Adopting a Partnership Approach

US Capital Partners, LLC recognizes that what small to lower middle market businesses need is not simply short-term financing, but an ongoing partnership that allows them to prosper and grow. A lender that understands your business is less likely to bail out if your company meets any unexpected challenges down the road. By understanding your business, US Capital Partners is also able to maximize your availability. US Capital Partners takes a strategic approach and places its best financing technicians at your service. As a direct lender, arranger, and co-lender, it has full flexibility to engineer optimal debt and equity financing solutions for your business.

If you would like to know more about how your business can secure the funding it needs, email Jeffrey Sweeney, CEO and Managing Director, at or call
(415) 889-1010.


Smaller Businesses Struggle with Receivables

Smaller companies are preparing themselves for growth. According to this year’s Group CFO Survey, 95% of small and midsize manufacturers intend to invest in equipment this year, and 69% are more optimistic about their financial prospects. Executives of midsize companies, Deloitte also reported, intend to grow their companies this year by innovating, capturing higher-value customers, boosting revenue per customer, and selling abroad.

Source: Merrill DataSite

Firms Struggle with Receivables

All of this, however, is taking place in a less predictable environment. Amid ongoing macro-economic uncertainty, one serious concern for many smaller businesses is with their receivables. The CFO Journal reported recently that midsized companies are struggling to manage their receivables, with 47% of respondents saying that “larger companies have used their bargaining power to force them to accept slower payments.” For smaller companies, this can be a significant problem, impacting working capital and stalling expansion.

How US Capital Partners Can Help

Today, smaller businesses in this predicament actually have more financing options available to them than ever before, helping them mitigate prolonged collection periods. Getting the right financing help quickly in this situation can ensure that your business continues to have the working capital or growth capital it requires.

US Capital Partners focuses exclusively on providing debt and equity financing for small and lower middle market businesses, including companies that may be struggling with their receivables. The firm’s extensive knowledge in this sector size enables it to provide the best possible financing for these businesses.

Recently, for instance, US Capital Partners put in place a $2 million accounts receivable line of credit for Morgan Drexen, Inc., which provides integrated support systems to over 50 US law firms. US Capital Partners also secured a $500,000 accounts receivable line of credit for Model Home Interiors, Inc., a leading designer and decorator of award-winning model homes. In both cases, US Capital Partners looked at every aspect of the business to design optimal and custom financing solutions for its clients.

If you would like to know more about how your business can secure the funding it needs, email Jeffrey Sweeney, CEO and Managing Director, at or call
(415) 889-1010.


US Capital Partners CEO Attends Food for Life Charity Event 

At US Capital Partners we understand the value of giving back and helping others that's why we are committed to participating in philanthropic charitable services on both a local and a global level.

This past week our CEO and Managing Director, Jeffrey Sweeney participated in a charity event for the international humanitarian non-profit association, Food for Life.

Food for Life Vrindavan works with the poorest villages in the Vrindavan area south of New Dehli in rural India. The association is recognized by the Indian Government and runs several schools for the poorest of the poor girls.

Jeffrey Sweeney makes a yearly visit to India and works helping to distribute food to children. Poor female Indian children are often bartered into marriage at 10 or 11 years old because the families focus attention on the boys development. These school serve about 1,700 girls.

The fundraising event took place in San Francisco and was a benefit for the Rupa's Girls School in Vrindavan. The event was catered by Kitchenette who provided attendees with organic fresh vegetarian food. Raffle winners won a month of unlimited yoga.

To learn more about Food for Life Vrindavan visit:


Recent News in Small Business Lending: Get the Financing You Need

How to secure optimal financing for your small business when most bank credit standards remain tight and small companies remain underserved by the big banks.

FED: Demand for Small Business Loans Jumped in 2011

The latest Federal Reserve figures reveal that many banks reported increased demand for loans from smaller businesses late last year. In the fourth quarter of 2011, 26% of respondent banks experienced “moderately stronger” demand for commercial and industrial loans from small businesses, up from 8% in the previous quarter.

Bank Credit Standards Remain Tight

As reported by CNNMoney, the survey also revealed that 94% of respondent banks said credit standards for small firms “remained basically unchanged.” Thus, despite the higher demand, retail banks have kept the strict credit standards they adopted in the wake of the 2008 recession. They have also not increased the maximum size of credit lines or eased their requirements on collateral.

Small Businesses Remain Underserved by Larger Banks

Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported that US banks posted their biggest quarterly increase in lending in four years. However, much of this growth came from large commercial clients. According to the NSBA, nearly one-third of small-businesses (30%) still struggle to secure the financing they need. Small businesses have also reported drops in bank loans, with 17% of small-business owners reporting less favorable terms on their loans in the last year.

Getting the Small Business Financing You Need

US Capital Partners, LLC, a leading lender and advisor to small businesses, is able to secure the best possible financing for your small business when the big banks say “no.” This may be as simple as financing your small business directly, or it may involve finding the right mix of specialty lenders for your circumstances and coordinating between them. US Capital Partners is a lender, co-lender, and lead financial arranger. This enables the firm to pursue its goal of engineering optimal and bespoke financing solutions for all its clients.

If you would like to know more about how your business can secure the funding it needs, email Jeffrey Sweeney, CEO and Managing Director, at or call (415) 889-1010.


How Small Businesses Find the Right Mix of Financing with Flexibility

Non-bank lenders are increasingly offering new creative financing options for smaller businesses. Find out how to secure the right mix of financing for your business.

The financing options available to smaller businesses have steadily been increasing. Traditionally, small to lower middle market companies—those with $5 million to $100 million in annual revenues—relied on an asset-based revolving line of credit together with a term loan, depending on the nature of their business. Generally, the revolving line of credit was secured on accounts receivable and inventory, and the term loan on plant and equipment.

This traditional financing arrangement, while still useful for many smaller businesses, is no longer as readily available from commercial banks. Increasingly, however, non-bank lenders are stepping in to provide financial products that offer new levels of flexibility. Their offering now actually represents an expansion on traditional lending to smaller businesses.

The Rise of Cash-flow Lending

Traditional asset-based financing works well for businesses with large inventories, receivables, or fixed assets. However, it is fairly limiting for many kinds of small businesses, especially service companies that are light on assets but may have strong enterprise value. Non-bank lenders now provide cash-flow term loans to such businesses, even if they have less than $5–7 million in trailing EBITDA, which used to be the threshold for such loans.

High-tech companies are a perfect example of businesses that may have strong cash-flow margins but not a lot of assets. Such companies may also be in their early stages, and therefore not have many years of historical performance. The banks are hesitant to lend to such businesses. Non-bank lenders, however, will now provide valuable working and growth capital to these businesses based on their enterprise value, including their ability to generate cash, rather than on the value of their business assets if liquidated.

Finding the Right Mix of Financing

All too often, what small businesses require is a mix of financing, intelligently structured to meet their specific needs. Financing for smaller companies used to be limited. But there are now interesting new mixes available from non-bank lenders. For ultimate flexibility, a small company needs to locate the right mix of specialty lenders.

The small-cap lending space is made up, primarily, of single-product lenders. Finding the most appropriate mix at the best cost, and then coordinating the different specialty lenders to a successful closing, can be a difficult process. This is where small-business lending and advisory firm US Capital Partners, LLC is able to help. As a direct lender, arranger, and co-lender, US Capital Partners is able to secure affordable financing for your small business across multiple asset classes, quickly and efficiently. As your small business grows, US Capital Partners can transition your company back to commercial bank financing, if this is appropriate. If you would like to know more about how your business can secure the funding it needs, emailJeffrey Sweeney, CEO and Managing Director, at or call (415) 889-1010.