With the help of three loans through Pursuit since 2019, Glenn Read – the owner of Glenn Read Enterprises, LLC, whose ventures include Allegra Marketing Print Mail – has reversed credit challenges, stabilized his business’s finances, overcome the loss of key revenue in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and is now significantly growing equity and profitability.
The first time Pursuit featured his story, Glenn had just received our SmartLoan for $100,000. In early 2020, we featured him again when he closed on an SBA 7(a) loan to acquire a competitor. And now, Pursuit’s thrilled to feature Glenn again – this time, for closing on an SBA 504 loan package to purchase commercial real estate and further build his business.
Glenn embodies entrepreneurial vision, dedication and tenacity, but his pivot from a military career to entrepreneurship also includes many bumps in the road. Learn about his challenges, successes and plans for continued growth – with funding and support through Pursuit.
A $100,000 Pursuit SmartLoan reduced his monthly payments by $7,500
After serving in the military for 23 years, Glenn bought a franchise of Allegra in 2017 that had struggled financially over its 30-year history. He took on high-cost debt to cover short-term cashflow crunches, but the repayment terms made it difficult to get ahead.
He learned about Pursuit and applied for a Pursuit SmartLoan to refinance his high-interest debt. Our team worked with him to overcome credit issues and get him on his way to loan approval. In early 2019, Glenn was approved for a $100,000 Pursuit SmartLoan, with an additional interest-rate reduction through the Veteran Loan Program.
As a result, Glenn’s loan payments decreased from more than $9,000 to $1,600 – a monthly reduction of $7,500 and a difference that he credits with saving his business.
A $600,000 SBA 7(a) loan to acquire a competitor and integrate operations
Fast forward to early 2020 when Glenn found a competitor to acquire as part of his long-term growth strategy.
“I didn’t hesitate to go to Pursuit because they made the first loan experience such a pleasure,” explains Glenn. “I knew the terms would be great and that the team would help me if I ran into difficulties. The SBA 7(a) application is pretty comprehensive, so their guidance was really appreciated.”
He received approval on the $600,000 loan in autumn 2019 and quickly closed the purchase deal on a business that complements Allegra’s existing offerings. With that, Glenn’s strategy for growth was coming to fruition.
An SBA 504 loan to buy property and lower monthly payments by $6,400
No sooner did Glenn have his growth plans underway than the COVID-19 pandemic struck. Although many businesses across New York State were required to close, Glenn’s business was considered an essential service and stayed open, although a lot of his usual business dried up.
Rather than reduce costs through by laying off staff, Glenn hustled to find new business, saying “More than anything else, I see my role as providing opportunities for people in our community, so keeping our employees on board was a top priority.” Glenn says that an SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan helped a great deal.
His team leveraged Allegra’s printing and marketing capabilities for new business, including masks. “We offered options for branded masks and other promotional items to help our clients build their businesses. You have to be flexible and meet clients’ needs or you risk losing them.”
He also says that election-related mailings were an unanticipated but very welcome project.
“With local and school-board elections taking place in May and June, districts had to find safe ways for people to vote,” he explains. “They came to us for printing and mailing services and although it wasn’t an ongoing revenue line, it was exactly the boost we needed at the time.”
Another significant way that Glenn identified to improve his business’s cash flow was to purchase the property in which his business was operating.
“I was paying $8,400 a month in rent and when I realized that I could reduce that payment to about $2,000 by purchasing the building, I knew that would be a game-changer,” he explains.
He talked to his Pursuit team about his plans and began preparations for the SBA 504 loan, which enables small businesses to buy and renovate commercial properties (among other eligible expenses), in partnership with banks and non-profit lenders like Pursuit. When the pandemic hit, though, Glenn put his plan on hold to focus on operations. Then, in September 2020, he was ready to move forward on the loan for about $306,000.
“Once again, my Pursuit team looked past the immediate concerns, like the fact that our business wouldn’t hit revenue projections in 2020 because of the pandemic, and approved me for that part of the loan,” says Glenn. “But we still needed a bank to partner with us.”
Glenn says that his Pursuit business advisor, Dustin Krause, was tireless, saying, “It was a tough time in the pandemic for banks to approve business loans, but Dustin kept working for the ‘yes.’ And one day, he called to tell me we found a bank, Bank of Greene County, that would partner on the SBA 504. It was incredible news.”
Business advice from an entrepreneur who understands real-world challenges
Glenn says that in these difficult times, “Don’t go it alone, don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are resources out there and you only need one ‘yes’ to move forward, just be sure it’s the right ‘yes’. And be creative about ways to build your business, like partnering with competitors when you bring something different to the table. We’ve generated a lot of revenue that way.”
Pursuit can help you, too
“It may be hard to imagine that taking on business debt can totally change your business for the better,” says Glenn, “but we’re proof of that. I’ve got a fixed-rate loan with such great repayment terms that it reduced my monthly costs by more than six-thousand dollars and I’m building tangible equity in my business. Now, I can focus on growth and you can be certain that when I need funding again, I’ll turn to Pursuit.”
He ends by saying, “I can’t say enough about how amazing the Pursuit team is to work with and how much I appreciate the support I’ve received. They always have my back.”