by Stephan Dix and Jason Dunick
It all started as a small family affair. Now, with help from the CommunityExpress loan program, Anderson Security Agency in Phoenix, Arizona, is booming. Staffed initially by a handful of family members, this woman-owned company now has over 400 employees and is still growing.
Kim Anderson-Matich is the daughter of H. P. Anderson, Sr., who started one of the first security companies in Arizona in the 1940s. He had always wanted to house his company in its own building with a museum featuring memorabilia of the security industry and the development of his company. He sold his firm in the early 1990s without realizing his dream, but his daughter adopted his vision and has built a brand-new security agency from the ground up, starting in 1994. With the help of CommunityExpress and many cooperative players, the company has surpassed all expectations.
In the beginning, Ms. Matich hired her siblings and received considerable support from her husband, Eugene Maggi, as well as a great deal of guidance from her father. This family support proved crucial during the usual difficulties that accompany startups. Her childhood exposure to the security business was another source of strength. Even with these assets, Ms. Matich realized she would soon need further assistance to grow her business.
Contract volume increased dramatically in 2000, and employee hiring and training intensified. With this expansion, financial management became more and more difficult. Kim Anderson-Matich decided to maximize the use of her CPA firm, Zolondek, Strassels, Greene, and Freed. A partner in the CPA firm, Sharon Miller, set up a new accounting system. Ms. Miller also brought Lyle Frederickson of Arizona Business Bank into the picture. The bank set up a revolving line of credit for Andersen Security’s working capital and provided a loan, guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), to purchase a new building. The bank also originated another SBA-guaranteed loan to buy equipment and furniture.
All of this was still not enough to support the firm’s rapid expansion. Ms. Matich needed to hire more employees and sought additional financing for this growth. Fortunately, the Arizona Business Bank had an extensive knowledge of SBA lending options, and turned to the CommunityExpress Loan Program.
CommunityExpress is a pilot program, developed by NCRC’s Banker/Community Collaborative Council and the SBA, which pairs SBA-guaranteed loans with technical assistance. This program is designed to encourage small business lending to women, minorities, and veterans and to firms in low- and moderate-income communities.
Under the program, lenders pay local TA providers -mostly community-based nonprofits that are NCRC members — to supply guidance and management support to borrowers, and to monitor borrowers’ progress after the loan is closed. NCRC approves TA providers for CommunityExpress and helps connect them with lenders. At present, some 120 TA providers from around the nation are participating.
The Arizona Business Bank established a small line of credit under CommunityExpress to support additional contracts with large Arizona corporations. With this support, Anderson Security Agency quickly secured four more major contracts and exceeded all projections given in the SBA loan application. The company has been doing so well that it will soon sign for a second CommunityExpress loan to support further expansion.
Kim Anderson-Matich, her CPA and her bank have worked together using the SBA/NCRC CommunityExpress program and other SBA loans to finance this highly successful company. In the process, Ms. Matich has followed her own star and brought her father’s dream to reality: Her firm owns its facility, complete with the museum that fired her father’s imagination.
CommunityExpress loans now exceed $52 million, and nearly 500 small businesses have been assisted. Loan volume continues to grow by 10% or more month-to-month.
For more information on CommunityExpress loans and technical assistance, contact Stephan Dix at 202-628-8866 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.