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$223.504 Million for Small Businesses in 2013

Mercantile Capital Corporation helps create and retain 1,432 jobs by providing SBA 504 loans to small businesses in 12 states

ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Mercantile Capital Corporation, which ranks as one of the leading providers of owner-user commercial real estate financing for small business owners via the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loan program, announced today that it finished 2013 with closed loans worth more than $223.504 million in total project costs.

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Chris Hurn, CEO of Mercantile, said that 2013 was the second most productive year in the company's history. "Even without the SBA 504 refinance or FMLP programs, our loan volume for 2013 was up 77.3% over our 10-year annual average," said Hurn. "It's clear there's demand from small business owners for this type of financing for growth and expansion."

The largest single loan for Mercantile in 2013 was for a $25.8 million hotel acquisition and construction project in Oklahoma. With flagged hotels accounting for nearly half of its 2013 loan volume, the company has become a go-to source of financing for this property type.

Geof Longstaff, Mercantile's Chairman, said that construction projects also contributed to the company's success in 2013. "We closed almost as many construction projects as we did acquisition projects last year," said Longstaff. "We were limited by legal lending limits in the amount of construction lending we could do; otherwise we likely would have taken on more small business construction projects." Both Longstaff and Hurn cite the demand for construction financing as a sign that the small business sector is gaining more confidence as the economy continues to recover from the Great Recession.

About the SBA 504 Loan Program

The SBA 504 loan program allows small business owners to finance fixed assets (commercial real estate and equipment) with long-term, below-market, fixed interest rates. These loans are designed to finance the total project cost, including purchase price, construction/renovations, equipment, soft costs, and closing costs. A typical 504 project requires only 10 percent equity (down payment) from the small business borrower, with the remaining amount split between a first mortgage provided by a commercial lender and a second mortgage provided by a Certified Development Company (CDC). The program is self-funded and historically has been operated at a zero-subsidy status.

About Mercantile

Mercantile Capital Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Old Florida National Bank, is one of the nation's leading providers of commercial real estate financing for small business owners via the SBA 504 loan program. As of December 31, 2013, Mercantile has closed 514 loans to fund projects worth more than $1.39 billion in 39 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. A primary aim of the SBA 504 loan program is job creation and retention, and the company's lending activity has helped create and retain a total of 9,403 permanent jobs since 2003. An industry leader for more than a decade, Mercantile has been on the forefront of efforts to grow the SBA 504 program by making it more widely known and available to small business owners.

For more information, visit www.504Experts.comand www.504Blog.com. For media requests and questions, contact Chris Hurn, CEO of Mercantile Capital Corporation, at 407-786-5040 or [email protected]

Media Contact: Chris Hurn, Mercantile Capital Corporation, 407-786-5040, [email protected]

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SOURCE Mercantile Capital Corporation

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