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Watch: How This Tampa Bay Finance Pro Is Funding Startups & Enterprises

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Liquid Capital Bay Area Principal, Mark Coyle, recently took to the airwaves on The Consumer Quarterback Show based out of Tampa Bay to talk about the state of the Florida economic market and how his business can help small and medium-sized businesses in the area.

Live from iHeartRadio, show host, Brandon Rimes, talked to Mark about different types of loans and funding he has available to work with businesses and get them moving in the right direction.

“I’m a local lender that is part of a global network of alternative lenders. Essentially what we do is help small to medium-sized enterprises with working capital solutions,” Mark explained.

“In the business to consumer world, when we go into a small business owner and purchase a good or service, we will pay the same day. ”

“Whereas when you’re in the business to business world and you deliver a good or service…you don’t get paid for anywhere from 30, 60 or 90 days.”

Mark explains that he generally works with two types of clients in this situation. The first is people who have what he calls “good problems.” These clients can be earlier in their business lifecycle, and have received a loan for startup capital but have outgrown that loan very quickly.

“..maybe they were projected to get growth of 20% and they received a growth of 100 or 200% – and they simply don’t have the working capital to facilitate the growth opportunities that are in front of them,” Mark goes on to explain.

“I’m able to help them to shorten the lifecycle of those receivables by factoring and advancing the majority of capital against that receivable so that they can make payroll, replenish their inventory, continue to deliver the goods or services to their clients, and grow with demand.”

The second group of clients Mark works with are people who have successfully received bank loans over a longer period of time and found success, but now they have a “trigger event” that requires more assistance.

“Maybe they had a piece of capital equipment that was $500,000 that went out. They weren’t budgeted to replace it, so they replace it and are overleveraged. And the bank doesn’t feel warm and fuzzy about extending them a line of credit. So where I come into place is to assist them with, again, working capital solutions to better their financial picture and get them back to a bankable situation.”

Mark explains that his products and services are not in conflict with banks, as he works with the banks to help get clients back into a traditional bankable situation. Once they get the assistance from Liquid Capital Bay Area, his clients’ books look a lot better from a bank point of view, so they can go ahead and get traditional funding.

Watch segment: State of the Tampa Bay Area economy

When it comes to the local Florida and Bay Area economy, Mark sees a positive future.

“I think the local economy is doing very well. From a larger perspective, I think there’s a lot of capital. I think the market is plush with money. …

And that speaks well to the opportunities Mark can afford business owners in the area.

“We are seeing businesses that kind of fall under the two buckets I spoke of – having growth trajectories or maybe having a bump in the road, and we’re able to come in and help them realize that growth or keep them sustainable and get them through the hard times.”

Watch segment: Advice for Tampa Bay Area business owners

Brandon asked what businesses owners should avoid when looking for funding and assistance, and Mark offered sensible advice

“What I would say to a small business owner who has a growth opportunity in front of them or is in danger of insolvency and isn’t able to get bank financing is — think outside the box and don’t stop there, because there are other options.

“There are opportunities that don’t fall within the traditional financing realm. …

“Partner with somebody who has your best interests in mind. Me, as a local business owner that partners with local business owners to better their situation, I’ll walk away from a deal 10 times out of 10 if it’s not the best for them. And there are many times where I’ve looked my customers in the eye and said – look, I can put you in a product that will make my company money but it won’t better my situation – you’re either in the same spot or worse. Let’s come back and talk in six months.”

Mark closes by advising business owners to make sure they’re working with a company that has your best interest in mind.

“And I think it’s definitely a good opportunity to deal local, where you can sit down over a cup of coffee…and know who you’re dealing with. Not a website, not a phone number and not dealing with somebody five states away.”

 

New Funding Solutions For RVA Business Community

RICHMOND, Va. (JULY 29, 2016) – Greg Lingo, founder of Liquid Capital RVA, announced the opening of his firm, which specializes in alternative financing solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.  Mr. Lingo sees the roadblocks that business owners in the Greater Richmond area face when they are unable to secure bank loans. By accessing much-needed working capital through commercial financing, these businesses can now kick-start their business growth.

“Our product portfolio is vast, and we tend to work from the inside out. We fit our lending products to the customer’s needs rather than forcing the customer to fit ours. We are not a bank and therefore are not constrained by traditional lending metrics such as credit scores, financial ratios and historical financial results.”

Mr. Lingo sees his 30 years of experience as an award-winning national sales professional at three Fortune 500 firms as key to helping his clients succeed in their business. “I understand the challenges faced by small businesses – whether they are experiencing rapid growth, a product launch, a restructuring or if they simply have a working capital shortage. Seeing a business grow and thrive as a result of your work is very fulfilling. Richmond has a growing new business ecosystem that has been compared to Silicon Valley. I want to support and help this local start-up community.”

Building partnerships and business relationships in the local community has been important to the entrepreneur, and Mr. Lingo acclaims local organizations for their advocacy. “The local Chambers of Commerce, in particular, are the most business savvy, well-organized groups I have been lucky to be a part of.  They have business mentors, networking sessions and I’ve met wonderful people from the business community.  It’s like nothing else I’ve seen.”

Partner and CFO, Diane Lingo, previously held the role of CFO with a technology and engineering firm that she helped grow from start-up to a publicly traded international enterprise. She explains how her extensive financial expertise can also benefit their customers. “Our business is incredibly similar to my past work experience, except now I’m on the other side of the desk. We evaluate each client’s balance sheet to identify funding options and provide hands-on support to clients at each step in the process.”

Mr. and Mrs. Lingo are creating a reputation for honesty and trust, and are looking forward to their future in the RVA business community for years to come. “We hope to have firmly established ourselves as the go-to financial service specialists in the business community. When a business owner is in need of financial assistance and support, we are excited to partner with them here at Liquid Capital RVA. We want to make a positive impact on their business.”

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Will Brexit Impact Your Business Operations?

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There’s no doubt one of the world’s largest economies has made a splash in the business news lately. How could Great Britain’s exit from the European Union impact our business community in North America?

We look at the highlights from across the media to see what analysts and outlets are saying, and what to watch out for.

1. “How bad will Brexit get? Here’s what top economists are saying.”

From: Vox World

“On June 23, British voters decided to vote “Leave” anyway. And now they’re left to grapple with the consequences — including any economic turmoil that may follow.

“So how bad would severing ties with the EU be? On the day after the vote, markets plunged sharply around the world, suggesting serious economic risks were on the horizon. But economists have differing views on just what Brexit would mean — and exactly how dire it could get. Here’s a running roundup from around the web.”

Key takeaway: Brexit is a crisis in Britain, but there is no sure sign this is a crisis for North American business…yet. The key thing to remember is that if you’re dealing with British businesses, EU businesses that rely heavily on Britain, or if your clients are doing just that, then you should keep a close eye on what’s happening. For most businesses dealing primarily with other North American companies, Brexit may not have an immediate impact other than stirring the already-mirky waters of the psychology of business economics.

2. “‘Brexit’ in America: A Warning Shot Against Globalization”

From: The New York Times

“For all the shock and awe on Wall Street and financial markets around the globe on Friday, the imminent danger to the underlying American economy is relatively small. What’s far more worrisome is whether Britain’s decision represents an end to the economic integration and opening markets that have helped propel sales at companies like Eastman over the last few decades. …

““In the near term, you’re seeing markets being roiled, and feedback effects for the Federal Reserve,” Mr. Hubbard said. But for now, at least in the United States, “I don’t think it’s going to raise recession probabilities.” …

“When it comes to commerce, Britain is not even among the United States’ top five trading partners — it’s currently the seventh largest…”

Key takeaway: This lackadaisical stance seems to make us feel like Brexit will have little-to-no impact on American business, unless you’re like the Eastman company mentioned and have operations in both the U.S. and Britain. Instead, they cite opportunities for trade and partnerships elsewhere, potentially exposed because of the changes in the world markets. Perhaps your business can take a look across other borders for new opportunity knocking.

3. “Brexit jitters claim a Canadian IPO”

From: Globe and Mail

“The market turmoil that erupted in the aftermath of the Brexit vote has claimed a prominent Canadian casualty: MCAP Corp.’s initial public offering.

“The mortgage lender filed for a $275-million IPO in May, and institutional and retail orders soon started flowing, according to people familiar with the offering. A few days before Britain’s referendum, things came to a halt. On Wednesday, the deal was pulled altogether.”

Key takeaway: Although Brexit wasn’t the direct cause of failure, the market’s insecurity with what would amount from Brexit turmoil was enough to massively impact this business. But keep in mind, this was a huge enterprise with a muli-million dollar IPO at stake, so it’s not as relatable to most SMBs. Keep an eye on the papers for these types of stories, as enterprise analysts can give you early warning signals of what’s to come in the market.

4. “Impacts on Small Businesses And Startups In The U.S.”

From: Fast Company

“Small business owners, along with multinational companies, must understand that hundreds of laws, rules, and agreements governing everything from trade and immigration to agricultural subsidies will be rewritten, and that will impact contractual agreements,” Wojcik says. …

“Now that Brexit has happened, Todd believes slow growth here in the U.S. is likely to continue. “Paradoxically, even with all the economic and political uncertainty, if a tech entrepreneur has a good idea, it could continue to be a great time to go out and try to raise capital,” Todd contends. …

“”The strongest of small businesses know how to withstand turbulence, adapting quickly to changing environments,” Holoubek says. “When your service or product helps larger corporations do the same, times of great uncertainty become a win-win.””

Key takeaway: Although there are certain risks starting a cross-border business, this may be a great time to find valuable investment at lower rates. And if you’re a small business supporting a larger enterprise, you could have just stumbled into the sweet spot as SMBs can generally weather these storms very well, and that means more money in your pockets.

5. “After the Brexit Vote: The impact on US & Soviet relations”

From: Richmond Times

“As the U.S. heads into an election campaign, Washington’s influence on events in Europe and elsewhere is ebbing. President Obama went to Ottawa two weeks ago to confer with his Canadian and Mexican counterparts about coping with Brexit’s impact on the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). These leaders foresee growing opposition to free trade during the U.S. election campaign and beyond. Continued close relations on trade and commerce are important U.S. interests, but the overriding U.S. priority is the strength and cohesiveness of NATO. It was responsible for forging peace and prosperity in Europe for nearly 70 years and eventually bringing former Soviet satellites under its defense umbrella. If the EU begins to unravel under the stress of nationalist pressures, NATO’s defense shield will remain a vital U.S. interest in Europe.”

Key takeaway: Economics, politics and Russian relationships. We’ve seen over and over in reality and the movies. You better believe these discussions will be all over every news outlet, late night comedy talk show and blog, so keep watching for impacts on your business.

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Success By Example: Q&A’s

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Story originally from In Business Magazine Greater Phoenix Area.

Small business is thriving in Arizona, and in Metro Phoenix specifically. Arizona State University and Grand Canyon University have programs focused on fostering entrepreneurialism; many of the Maricopa County community colleges are also active in this space with specialized programs, notably GateWay Community College‘s incubator, Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation; and numerous business incubators and accelerators throughout the Valley are helping startups launch successfully into the business community.

Success begets success, and In Business Magazine asked Joel Gottesman, Prinicpal at Liquid Capital of Arizona, to share insights on best practices and the changing business environment, based on his experience in these core concerns of all business enterprises: finance, human resources, leadership and management, marketing and communication, sales, and technology.

Question: Are there traditional “truths” (attitudes, ways of doing things) that need to be discarded in today’s business world?

Answer: Traditional “truths” would hold that you fund growth by obtaining capital (from yourself, friends and family, or established investor infrastructure), and then obtain working capital debt through alternative financing such as factoring or asset-based lending, or through a bank loan if the more stringent credit standards can be met. If additional capital is still needed, there are some new ways of raising capital through crowd funding, which is becoming more of a reality and utilizes social media to reach investors more readily. Other options include contract manufacturing or joint venturing for an initial period to reduce the time it takes to move forward on your growth plan.

Question 2: What is an innovative best practice you would advise to a fellow small-businessperson?

Answer: Find your sweet spot on how to engage prospective or existing customers or referral sources for growing your business. Social media provides a great opportunity to be out there to establish your business brand in a way that is not a “hard sell.” You have the opportunity to associate yourself and your business with creative trends and new ideas. Depending on your business model, LinkedIn and Twitter offer opportunities to build your network and business brand.

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8 Tax Deductions You Need To Know Right Now

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Come tax season, everyone should try and get a little something back, and businesses are no exception. Tax deductions won’t save a floundering business from closing up shop – but to the shrewd business owner, they can make the difference between a good year and a great year.

Note: The deductions listed below may not be recognized in your area. Be sure to consult a tax specialist for more information on how you can save your business money through prudent financial planning.

1.    Get Networking and Get a Deduction

Remember that expenses like membership fees to professional organizations are completely deductible, so you’ll never have to make the hard choice between getting the inside edge on a potential client or paying annual membership in order to attend networking events. Professional fees and licenses are also deductible.

2.    Real Estate Interest

If your business owns a physical location or any real estate, be sure to claim the entire amount of interest you paid during the year.

3.    Maintenance and Repair Fees

You spend money keeping your machinery and equipment in proper working order, and these amounts are often deductible. Just be mindful that you might run into exceptions if the repairs add additional value to the property. Your accountant should flag those circumstances.

4.    Meals and Entertainment

Meeting a client? Attending a business lunch? You don’t necessarily have to pay completely out of pocket. Claim a meals and entertainment deduction equal to 50% of the amount you paid for attending these activities. A $40 lunch may not sound like a big deal, but over the course of the year it adds up to more than you might think.

Tip: Before you leave the table, turn the receipt over and write who you were there with and what you discussed. This little note will help justify your claims in the event of a future audit.

5.    Your Car

Let’s face it – if you’re using your personal vehicle to get the job done and keep your clients happy, then you should be compensated for mileage, gas, wear and tear. Keep a logbook in your glove compartment to write down when you’ve used your personal vehicle for business use. Or go digital and use an app like MileIQ or TaxMileage that keeps it all logged on your smartphone. If you want to avoid the headache altogether, ask your accountant about your tax rules – you may be able to simplify your car expenses by using a percentage of total costs as your business deduction.

6.    Bad Debt

If you have a customer that hasn’t paid their due for your products or services, or maybe they’re simply taking too long to pay, then your accounts receivable is at risk of becoming bad debt. In spite of the name, bad debts aren’t “all bad” – as these amounts can be deducted.

But in the end, nobody likes bad debts. So if you’re keen on avoiding them altogether, consider factoring your accounts receivable. Full disclosure – this is a service we offer at Liquid Capital, and we’ve seen this strategy work very well for clients over and over again.

Factoring means that you sell your accounts receivables to a third party company and they will do all the work to collect from your client. While you may not be collecting the full face value of your A/R, the trade-off is quite beneficial. You’ll get certainty that you’ll be paid, your cash flow is instantly increased with money at hand, and the cost of factoring is fully tax deductible.

7.    Travel Deductions

Depending on your business, you may spend a considerable amount of time and money on the road meeting clients, stakeholders, suppliers and attending conferences. Any costs for transportation and lodging while out of town on a business trip are deductible. Sadly, regular local commuting is not, so that could be a benefit to attending an out-of-town event.

8.    Advertising

Advertising and promotion could also fall under your tax deductions as the “cost of doing business.” Some business owners shy away from advertising because the costs lower your profits, but keep in mind that this also lowers your taxable income. And the rewards of additional advertising could bring significantly higher future revenues. You’ll have to determine the right balance of cash in hand vs. advertising for future growth.

In the end, it’s always important to talk with your accountant about all expenses and tax deductions. What may be an acceptable deduction this year may not be the same next year.

Recent Fundings – July 2016