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Last Update: Thursday July 29, 2021

Key Idea: Get the Cash You Need

Joe Dannis grew his company, Dawn Sign Press, with retained earnings.  To grow he was able to secure an SBA-backed loan to purchase the building from which he operates.

Key Question:


You heard Grace Tsujikawa say that she was turned down by a dozen banks. We have heard this over and over again. An SBA-guaranteed loan can make your life a little easier and may even lower the points you pay on the money.

Q:  Why do we struggle so much?

Because we try to keep everything in our heads. The old cash register mentality is no substitute for a written business plan which everybody associated with your business participates in developing, maintaining, and authenticating the numbers and projections.

It is a business plan that you can take to the bank. And if you do it right, you'll end each quarter with a Balance Statement where everybody understands the Profit & Loss Statement, reports on their own key critical ratios and knows how these ratios compare with the rest of your industry.

We know many small business owners who have taken advantage of 504 SBA program. It is for loans on buildings and land and they are long-term, fixed rate financing. These programs are administered through the Cerftified Development Corporations (CDC). In most cases, the maximum guaranty is $1 million, but with CDCs the amounts can go higher because they are secured by the asset and the principal (that's you).

In general the SBA can guarantee as much as 85 percent on loans of up to $150,000 (LowDoc) and 75 percent on loans of more than $150,000 --7(a) Loan Guaranty Program -- and now SBAExpress up to $250,000.

Think about it

Do you need money to grow your business? Are you willing to put your plan for the money in writing and go to the bank? Do you know which banks in your area are the preferred SBA lending institutions?

Clip from: The Winners - SBA Awards

Every State & Territory of the USA: Each year the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) recognizes one owner from each state and each territory for their creativity and tenacity and for creating jobs. The SBA is the only agency in the federal government chartered to help turn dreams into realities. And it could be argued, this agency is closest to the intent and the results of the American revolution, that is, to make it possible for businesses to grow.

Since 1963 the President of the United States has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of Small Business Week.

In this episode of the show you meet the Small Business Person of the Year from Hawaii, California, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. You'll also hear from winners from Maryland and Montana. You'll also see  winners from Delaware, Guam, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, Montana, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Washington.

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Dawn Sign Press

Joe Dannis, Founder

6130 Nancy Ridge Drive
San Diego, CA 92121

Visit our web site:

Office: 8586250600

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1979

Get the Cash You Need

HECTOR: ... million sales and his goal is ...

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Pat and Skip Yeoman, winners from Mississippi, talk with Administrator Barreto.

PAT YEOMAN (Small Business Person of the Year from Mississippi): And we are expanding our business, moving into a larger location, so perhaps we would need financing again. As we grow, that could help us.

HECTOR: Absolutely, Pat. You know, one of the things that the SBA does is real estate loans called 504 loans. And we can help a business either buy a new building or refurbish a building or buy equipment. A lot of small businesses don't know about that program.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) With an SBA-backed real estate loan, Gary Walls, owner of Trailblazer Foods in Portland, Oregon, was able to build a brand-new building to expand his manufacturing efforts. He makes jam and jellies from Oregon-grown berries. Grace Tsujikawa was stuck in her basement before she found out about how to go after an SBA-backed loan.

GRACE TSUJIKAWA: We started in the basement of my home, just sort of as an art project, while I was still employed, and people became interested, friends, relatives, started buying my experiments, and--I mean, that got to be, you know, pretty exciting, and so I thought, `Well...'

HATTIE: Because you created something and someone actually gave you money for it.

GRACE: Yes. Yes.

HATTIE: And you went, `Whoa, this is good.'

GRACE: This is good. But I was quite naive about actually making it happen. You know? Having it be a business. So after being turned down by a dozen banks, I was talking to a friend whose brother was an accountant, and he said, `Well, why don't you go to the Small Business Administration?' I said, `Hey, what a good idea.'

HECTOR: Access to capital is vital, and we have a lot of different programs. There are a lot of different lending programs, whether you're a start-up or a very sophisticated company that's ready to go public. We need to continue to do technical assistance, education. That's really a leveler of the playing field. That is so, so important. (1) We want to make sure that we're helping companies facilitate contracts with the federal government and not just the federal government, but the private sector as well. We want to advocate on behalf of them, especially on issues that are important to them like: (2) health care, (3) regulation, and (4) taxes. (5) We want to make sure that we're transforming our organization to be a modern technology-driven organization that is very customer service-friendly. Those are the five big priorities for us.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) You can learn more by dialing 1-800-U-ASK-SBA (800-827-5722) or by going to ( (Voiceover) The monuments provide a fitting backdrop to honor the men and women who play such an important role in the creation of wealth and work. All of these amazing people more than deserve to be here. But you can feel that they are in awe. They are humbled to be selected.

We say "Thanks" to these particular small business owners who represent all of us who own our own businesses for their courage and passion, which is what it takes to build something from nothing.

In a culture where celebrity is often confused with heroism, we believe the real heroes are in our midst, as close as the store owner next door, the architect across the street or the realtor around the corner. And the Small Business Administration agrees. We'll see you next time.

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