Small business lender Bond Street has rolled out an Accounting Professional Partner Program to help accountants arrange financing for their small business clients, offering discounts and referral fees.
Bond Street uses technology to automate the loan application, downloading data from QuickBooks Online, and accessing credit reports so underwriters can make a funding decision within 24 to 48 hours. Alternatively, accountants can send their clients’ financial statements or business tax returns.
“We fill the gap between banks and alternative lenders charging small businesses high interest rates,” said Mahima Chawla, director of the Accounting Professional Partner Program at the New York-based firm.
Bond Street arranges loans of between $50,000 and $500,000 at interest rates of between 6 and 22 percent for one to three years. Accountants can offer their small business clients a discount on the loan origination fee or take a referral fee. Client discounts and referral fees range from $500 to $5,000. The program also includes educational content on small business financing, including white papers, articles, webinars, and a LinkedIn group.
Bond Street launched the program about two months ago, and so far it has signed up around 30 accountants.
Bond Street mostly works with businesses with over $200,000 in annual revenue, according to Chawla. The company has been in business for over two years and has financed hundreds of small businesses, she noted. Most of them are service businesses, along with some companies that sell goods such as clothing.
Instead of asking for collateral, Bond Street only asks for the guarantee of the business owner. "We ask for a personal guarantee from single or multiple business owners representing at least 60 percent ownership of the company," Chawla explained.
Now Bond Street is opening a business development channel for accountants. “We’re targeting the accounting professional because they’re a trusted source of advice to small business customers,” said Chawla.
The company doesn’t do factoring for filling short-term funding gaps, but will refer small businesses to other lenders if they need that service.
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