Small Business Champions Spotlight: 1st PMF Bancorp and Stephen Perl

img_pmf1Stephen Perl is well-versed in small business financing. As President & CEO of 1st PMF Bancorp, a financial lender specializing in providing invoice factoring, credit, and financing support services, Stephen has been helping small businesses to succeed for over twenty years.

Founded as a family-owned business in 1983, 1st PMF is helping both small and medium-sized businesses with their domestic and international sales in order to improve working capital in multiple ways. Offerings include accounts receivable financing, invoice factoring, equipment financing, and trade financing, as well as escrow services, credit insurance and monitoring services.

“Cash is essential to the vitality and growth of any business,” said Stephen Perl. “Providing small businesses with the flexibility to raise working capital beyond the traditional bank loan offers many benefits, including faster growth and the ability to sell off their equity.”

A Desire to Do More

Through a comprehensive array of working capital solutions, 1st PMF Bancorp has become one of the leading private commercial lenders in America, which is what caught the attention of Dr. Deborah Osgood, President & CEO of KISBD.

“Unconventional sources for raising working capital is a prominent concern for smaller firms,” said Dr. Osgood, “particularly since the global recession. Reaching out to 1st PMF Bancorp to collaborate in promoting further awareness and access to factoring solutions made a lot of sense.”

As social entrepreneurs dedicated to supporting small business development, KISBD created America’s Small Business Champion’s Network, a public service initiative dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship through learning. Navigable across all 50 states, DC and Puerto Rico, Network content connects users to free, local government and small business assistance programs, as well as high-value solutions to contemporary business challenges.

“Working with Deborah to foster further awareness around the benefits of providing working capital through invoice factoring, trade financing, and lines of credit to small and medium-sized businesses was a no-brainer for PMF Bancorp,” said Stephen. “Through the Network we’re able to reach more businesses at the grassroots level, educate them about viable working capital options, and deliver the right financial solution to fit their needs.”

Meeting Small Business Demand

In recent years, roughly 65% of businesses with 10 employees or less have turned to unconventional financing – including factoring – to support operations and growth objectives. The US SBA Office of Advocacy reports that while commercial lending conditions have eased somewhat, they are “still relatively tight compared to pre-recession conditions.” By delivering a unique approach to solving customer’s short-term lending objectives, 1st PMF Bancorp is addressing a very important need.

img_pmf2“It takes money to make money,” explains Stephen. “After three decades, our bank is still family-owned and stronger than ever. When other banks have said No, we have said Yes! This is a bit of a motto, but for 7 out of 10 businesses that come to us, PMF can provide some kind of financial support.”

At the Commercial Finance Association’s national conference in Miami last March, 1st PMF Bancorp’s lending solutions became a popular conversation topic among attendees, particularly in regards to their specialty trade financing programs that few others offer. As a result of a KISBD presentation on the topic of improving cash flow, many more businesses are learning about these very productive financing tools that are seldom discussed by others. For wholesale goods businesses, it is not uncommon to have to invest in product 60 to 90 days before receiving payment. By utilizing invoice factoring and trade financing, these businesses are able to grow and take on larger customers that require terms. The extra working capital financing can be used to support operations and growth objectives more effectively. Many business models can be helped through these and other products that are seldom offered at traditional banks.

Public/private collaboration is the driving force behind Network engagement where “all users add value, and all users receive value.” Content is accessible to all businesses at no-charge and is educationally-focused serving to inform, educate and enhance business decision making in order to support America’s small business growth, economic and social prosperity.