BVFR is an investment banking/financial solutions firm that is committed to providing the highest level of financial intermediary services to small and middle market companies.
Founded in 1995 by Dr. Jameson Lawrence, Esq., CEO & Managing Member, and specializing in structuring project financing and commercial loans as well as in preparing applications for the USDA Rural Development Business and Industry (B&I) Loan Guarantee Program and other credit enhancements.
Since inception BVFR has been providing access to smart capital via credit enhancement tools. These tools, much like the USDA Business & Industry (B&I) Guaranteed Loan Program, have brought national acclaim to BVFR as the first company to arrange a $25 million USDA-guaranteed business loan for GlobiTech Inc. of Sherman, Texas.
Another milestone was reached when BVFR dipped into the renewable energy revolution prompted by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. The company arranged financing and energy cost savings for the American Trading and Production Corp. (Atapco), formerly American Oil Co. (Amoco), through BVFR’s wholly owned subsidiary, Phoenix Energy Alliance (PEA).
Never one to rest on its laurels, the BVFR team, including Lawrence’s wife and chief operating officer, Tonya McGee; Henry Garner Jr., managing director for the Baltimore office; and business development officer, Daren Anderson, introduced Performance Indemnity Insurance (PII) as a credit enhancement and loan default insurance for commercial transactions above $10 million. PII absorbs project risk by the collateralization of the insurance policy in the event of loan default. The response to this product has been overwhelming, and BVFR has a current pipeline of more than $500 million in debt placement activity.
Another key factor in the firm’s success has been its programme of guaranteed loans, which have supported businesses through the 2008 recession and beyond. Established in 1972 during the Nixon Administration, the B&I Loan Guarantee Program serves to provide business owners in rural America with greater access to capital through lower interest rate loans (than conventional loans), longer amortizations, smaller equity requirements and flexible collateral requirements. Whilst the term rural may seem restrictive, the term applies to many organisations and communities.
The U. S. Census Bureau defines “rural” as a population center of 50,000 or fewer persons. 17 of Maryland’s 23 counties are entirely rural. Westminster, Hunt Valley, Cecil County, Harford County, Howard County (Cooksville, West Friendship), parts of Prince George’s County (Brandywine, MD) and the entire Eastern Shore are all considered “rural” in the eyes of the USDA. Existing businesses will require 10% tangible equity with the proposed loan in place, while start-ups will require 20% tangible equity. The maximum loan amount is $25MM and loan guarantees range from 60% to 90% depending upon the loan amount. These loans can be used for working capital, equipment purchases, business acquisitions, restaurants, hotels, real estate and land acquisition, as well as start-up, inventory, loan fees, etc.
Business owners in urban cities like Baltimore, Miami, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Dallas, New Orleans, Richmond, NYC, Cleveland, Detroit, Washington, D.C. and other ineligible areas should consider buying or leasing a facility in an USDA eligible area. In so doing, they may obtain working capital loans which under USDA guidelines are dictated by where their business is headquartered or they may obtain construction loans based on the location of the facility. Larger development deals in urban and rural areas above $25MM can be funded via taxable revenue bonds backed by rated Standby Letters of Credit and Bank Guarantees that can be monetized and provide non-recourse funding up to 100% of the project costs.
Company: BVFR & Associates, LLC
Address: 343 North Charles St., 2nd Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201