American Broadband secures SBA loanWritten by Duane Ramsey | | firstname.lastname@example.org
American Broadband and Telecommunications of Toledo recently secured a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan through Huntington National Bank for its financial restructuring.
American Broadband obtained the loan for the primary reason of restructuring its finances to buy out two venture capital funds that were minority shareholders in the company, according to President Jeff Ansted. He said the company also wanted a more conventional banking relationship.
“We conducted a competitive process with several banks in Northwest Ohio to obtain financing that was rate sensitive,” Ansted said.
Huntington National Bank came up with the SBA concept and presented it to the management team at American Broadband, said Donald Dietrich, vice president of business banking and the relationship manager at Huntington for American Broadband.
“The SBA program matched their needs. SBA works for existing companies, providing loans that help customers to grow, create jobs and revitalize the economy,” Dietrich said.
Huntington established a relationship and understands our short- and long-term financing requirements, Ansted said.
“Most banks are interested in where you’ve been, not where you’re going. With our growth, where we’ve been was inconsequential to where we’re going,” he said.
American Broadband was founded in Sylvania in 2004 and moved to its current location in Downtown Toledo in 2006. It has experienced double-digit growth in sales every year since 2004, becoming one of the top telecommunications companies in the Midwest, Ansted said.
“We had multiple options but decided we wanted a bank to come into our business for a long-term relationship. We expect to have a long-term relationship with Huntington,” he said.
Huntington handles treasury management, credit card processing and all operating accounts for the firm.
“We value relationships with our customers and knowing their business,” said Jeremy Gutierrez, vice president and market manager for Northwest Ohio at Huntington.
American Broadband began its financing quest in February 2010 by talking to many banks. It decided on the SBA loan through Huntington in the second quarter and closed in the fourth quarter last year, according to Ansted who declined to reveal the amount of the SBA loan.
“It was a comfortable pace for us and allowed us to meet our date for refinancing,” he said.
Ansted reported that the company achieved its goal to pay off the venture capital funds, one from the East Coast and the Plymouth Venture Fund in Ann Arbor, which invested in the firm in 2008. American Broadband offers telecommunications services to residential and business customers, including local and long distance telephone, high-speed Internet, and Dish Network digital television.
“We’re the largest telecommunications company you’ve never heard of,” Ansted said, explaining how the company generates business with very little advertising.
The company uses relationship marketing with a sales force for commercial accounts that include small businesses to large institutions and municipal operations for entire cities, he said.
It uses telemarketing to respond to leads from its website and to potential customers with competitive rates determined by market analysis. Ansted said the company averages 200 new residential customers every day, providing voice, Internet and television services.
“People buy our service because of its value, customer service and superior technology,” Ansted said.
The company currently has 58 full- and part-time employees in customer service, sales and network engineering. It provides installation for customers in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan while subcontracting service for installations when it’s more economical.
Ansted said it plans to expand into Indiana during the second quarter of 2011.
Huntington Bank is dedicated to contributing to the growth of American Broadband and other local businesses, Gutierrez said.
“We are committed to meeting the needs of the business community in Toledo and Northwest Ohio, which is our home,” he said. Both he and Dietrich work out of the bank’s Toledo offices.
Huntington Bank is an SBA preferred lender, which empowers the bank to make decisions on loans that fit the program without going through the SBA district office in Cleveland, reported Gutierrez. The SBA staff at Huntington is a dedicated group of experts and the primary reason for its leadership in SBA loans.
Huntington is the No. 1 SBA lender in Ohio and fourth largest SBA lender in the U.S., according to Gutierrez. The bank wrote 812 SBA loans totaling $124 million in 2010 and has written 403 loans for $64 million year-to-date in 2011, he reported.