SBA launches temporary program for commercial real estate refinancing
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Small businesses facing maturity of commercial mortgages or balloon payments before Dec. 31, 2012, may be able to refinance their mortgage debt with a 504 loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration under a new, temporary program announced Feb. 18.
The new refinancing loan is structured like SBA’s traditional 504, with borrowers committing at least 10 percent equity and working with third-party lending institutions and SBA-approved Certified Development Companies in the standard 50 percent/40 percent split. A key feature of the new program is that it does not require an expansion of the business in order to qualify.
SBA will begin accepting refinancing applications on Feb. 28. The program, authorized under the Small Business Jobs Act, will be in effect through Sept. 27, 2012.
“The economic downturn of recent years and the declining value of real estate have had a significant, negative impact on many small businesses with mortgages maturing within the next few years,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “As a result, even small businesses that are performing well and making their payments on time could face foreclosure because of the difficulties they face in refinancing and restructuring their mortgage debt. This temporary program is another tool SBA can provide to help these small businesses remain viable and protect jobs.”
The SBA initially will open the program to businesses with immediate need due to impending balloon payments before Dec. 31, 2012. SBA will revisit the program later and may open it to businesses with balloon payments due after that date or those that can demonstrate strong need in other ways.
“We are making this initial restriction to make sure our funding goes first to small businesses with the most need,” said SBA Associate Administrator of Capital Access Steve Smits.
Borrowers will be able to refinance up to 90 percent of the current appraised property value or 100 percent of the outstanding mortgage, whichever is lower, plus eligible refinancing costs. Loan proceeds may not be used for other business expenses. Existing 504 projects and government-guaranteed loans are not eligible to be refinanced.
Congress authorized SBA to approve up to $15 billion in loans under this program ($7.5 billion in both fiscal 2011 and 2012). Together with the first mortgage, this temporary program will provide up to $33.8 billion of total project financing. Additional fees charged to the borrower will cover the cost of this refinancing program and as a result no subsidy will be needed. The program is expected to benefit as many as 20,000 businesses.
$20 million grant supports collaborative climate research
MOSCOW – Thanks to a major investment announced Feb. 18 by the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, the University of Idaho will lead research to better understand and plan for a changing climate in the Pacific Northwest.
The five-year, $20 million USDA award will fund the work of a research team led by University of Idaho entomologist Sanford Eigenbrode. His team includes researchers from Idaho, Washington State University and Oregon State University, and the USDA Agricultural Research Service. The team will study impacts of climate change on Northwest wheat and barley production.
“The University of Idaho is committed to work that serves our state and our region,” said M. Duane Nellis, president of the University of Idaho. “As the lead institution for this vital climate research, we welcome the USDA’s investment in work that will study not just the effect of climate change on agriculture – a key industry in the region – but also will help us innovate and advance agricultural production and education for the future. This work will truly be a model that defines the power of collaborative research to transform our region and enables our knowledge and discoveries to better serve the global community.”
Eigenbrode and the team will focus on cereal production systems of the inland Pacific Northwest and their management under projected climate change scenarios for the region.
“The task is enormous and complex, but we have the resources to proceed and the validation of our peers our concept and approach,” said Eigenbrode, a member of the Idaho’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences since 1985. “We are energized, galvanized, organized and ready to go to work.”
Sales of cereals totaled more than $1.5 billion in 2009, as the Northwest grew 13 percent of the nation’s wheat and 80 percent of the country’s soft white wheat exports. Some predictions indicate that changing temperatures and precipitation will affect the Northwest and other prime wheat regions.
Summers Funeral Homes to mark 100th anniversary
One of Idaho’s oldest and most recognized family-owned businesses is celebrating its 100 anniversary this month.
Summers Funeral Homes was founded by Clyde Summers in February, 1911, in downtown Boise. Summers operated the business until 1956, when he sold his interest to A. Dale and Shirley McMurtrey.
Two long-time Summers employees, David B. Yraguen and James B. Maguire, purchased the company from the McMurtreys in 1986. When Maguire died in an auto accident in 2000, David and Robyn Yraguen became the sole owners of the firm.
The Summers legacy continues today with locations in downtown Boise (1205 W. Bannock) and Meridian (3629 E. Ustick Road).