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CDC’s and affiliates around the country are fast discovering the SBA 504 Green Loan as an avenue to write bigger loans and fulfill borrowers’ expansion plans. One renewable energy company is helping lead the charge.

“As the economy gets better, people are really starting to take notice of the 504 Green Loan. Savvy business owners see the benefits of going green and they know the time to act is now. Eric Crisler of Austin, Texas based Entero Energy

With 50+ successful Green Loan projects, Entero Energy
has become a leading resource in helping SBA 504 lenders and their clients utilize the program and meet the SBA’s 10% renewable energy goal.

“Imagine you own a furniture store and you want to open five more nationwide. You can do that using the SBA 504 Green Loan,” says Crisler.

Miami-based Modani Furniture did just that, using the Green Loan to expand into five cities nationwide.

Another notable success story is Cary Albert of Albert Restaurant Group, a Dallas-based franchisee who used the loan program to finance multiple Schlotzsky’s restaurants throughout Texas. The firm qualified by installing solar PV systems on the facilities’ rooftops.

Albert’s company now owns 15 Schlotzsky’s and three Dairy Queen franchises.

“Cary Albert’s story is pretty amazing,” says Crisler. “People are looking at his success and saying hey, why can’t I do that? And our answer is you can, and we will show you how.”

The 504 Green Loan was set up by the SBA to achieve its Energy Public Policy Goal and bring more renewable energy into the small business community. The program allows borrowers to purchase multiple properties and surpass the $5 million loan limit by embracing energy efficiency measures or implementing renewable energy as part of their investment.

As NADCO and their CDC affiliate members strive to expand and nurture the 504 program, the SBA 504 Green Loan is an obvious place to mine new opportunities, lock-in reduced energy costs, and model corporate stewardship.

Crisler asks his clients, “If you can expand your business, create jobs, reduce your dependence on fossil fuels, cut your energy bills, generate great PR and make the world a little bit greener, all with a great low interest rate, why would you not do that?”

Why indeed?

By Bart Benne