FTMobility: An Adaptive-Mobility Company Secures Property with an SBA 504 Loan

Nicole Bryson, owner and CEO of FTMobility

“As small business owners, we have the ability to do big things,” says Nicole Bryson, owner and CEO of FTMobility in Saddle Brook, NJ. Although she said it in reference to purchasing commercial property, it should also be said for the impact that she and her team have every day on the people they serve through FTMobility.

Here’s how she achieved a longstanding goal with an SBA 504 loan from Pursuit in partnership with Columbia Bank.

A need for a job reveals a passion for helping others

Nicole admits that she wasn’t looking for a life-changing opportunity when she applied to an adaptive-mobility transportation company in her 20s.

“I was in college and needed health insurance, so I accepted the job,” she says about the company then known as Fun Truck’n Mobility. Nicole did administrative work as she learned the business and eventually, the owners gave her an opportunity to sell a customized mobility van.

“When I made my first sale I was thrilled,” she says. “But when the client came back a few weeks later, that’s when I had my ‘aha’ moment.” The client’s wife had suffered a traumatic brain injury and he told Nicole that they’d gone to their favorite restaurant – something that they never thought they’d be able to do again after her accident.

The van, he said, had given them hope.

“That’s when it hit me that this is about so much more than vehicles – it’s about making life more accessible for those in need,” Nicole says. After realizing the true impact of their work, she was hooked.

Making life better is good business

When the owners were ready to retire, they received offers from industry giants who were buying up “mom-and-pop” businesses. Nicole had other plans: She convinced them to let her try to pull together enough money to buy the business – and she succeeded.

The deal closed in 2017 and in 2018, she rebranded the company as FTMobility. In addition to selling new and used adaptive-mobility vehicles, the rental fleet has grown from three to 20 vehicles. FTMobility also offers a range of enhanced services, including 24-hour emergency service and extended-service plans. FTMobility has even donated adaptive-transport vehicles to help others.

“We have an incredible team that genuinely wants to make life better for people,” Nicole says about the staff, which has grown to about a dozen employees.

Purchasing commercial property with an SBA 504 loan through Pursuit

“We moved into our current location in Saddle Brook about 15 years ago,” Nicole says, “and since buying the business, it had been a goal of mine to buy the building, too. But the property was large and the down payment requirement for commercial loans kept my goal out of reach.” Conventional commercial loans for real estate typically require 30% down.

The property changed hands a couple of times and eventually, a new owner was willing to negotiate a deal that included splitting off FTMobility’s property from a larger parcel. That made a purchase more feasible, although the down payment was still a challenge.

“That’s when my representative at Columbia Bank told me about SBA loans,” Nicole says. “They put me in touch with Hector DaCosta at Pursuit.”

After reviewing loan options with Hector, including the SBA 7(a) and SBA 504 loans, Nicole knew that the 10% down-payment requirement and longer repayment term meant that she could realize her dream with the SBA 504. These loans are made in partnership with commercial banks, and Columbia Bank partnered on the deal.

“I couldn’t have purchased the property without the SBA 504, because the down payment for a conventional loan would have left the business cash-strapped,” Nicole says. “And Hector’s experience and support made all the difference because the deal was so complex and stressful! He encouraged me to keep my eye on the end goal – owning my business’s building – and he talked me through tough times.”


Pursuit helps small businesses achieve goals

Nicole says, “Hector and Pursuit did so much more than offer financing – through all the challenges, they were there to support me.”

With loan options from $10,000 to $5.5 million, Pursuit has funding options that can help you get the financing you need for commercial property, equipment, working capital, to acquire a franchise or refinance high-cost business-related debt, and much more.

Take a look at more than 15 small business loan programs, and contact us to learn about how we can help you, too.

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