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<March 2015>



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Commercial Real Estate Opps Good For Small Business

By Robert A. Vandenbergh

There’s been quite a bit of press lately about the signs of a nationwide improvement in the commercial real estate market. A good reason for the modest sales increase can be attributed to the amount of commercial funds now available to qualified borrowers.

Commercial loan applications have increased slightly over the past few months and banks are supporting this trend with customer service and by helping commercial business borrowers through the loan process. At Lakeland Bank, we cater to local business and just went one step further launching a “Fast Track” for those looking to borrow up to $250,000.

There are three things a borrower can do to better understand what they would qualify for and to streamline the commercial loan application process.

1. Relationships are a plus. It's important to have an established history and relationship with your lender. Today banks look at the total borrower and not just their company income statement and balance sheet. The management skills that you demonstrated during the difficult economy can play a critical role in evaluating your ability to pay back a loan.

2. Maintain current financial documentation. It is helpful to have an updated personal financial statement, for all principles, as well as at least two years of business and personal tax returns to help the lender view the recent trends exhibited by the business. Additionally, you should have available a current rent roll if the property being financed is investor purpose rather than owner occupied.

3. Be realistic. Over the past few years, market values have decreased and for many property types, oversupply still exists.

This is a good time for the purchase or refinance of commercial properties that can be made more efficient and streamlined by leveraging your existing banking relationship. At Lakeland Bank our commercial lenders are committed to Simplifying Banking. For more information, please give us a call at 866-224-1379 or visit LakelandBank's Business Loans Page.

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