Color Craft Graphic Arts, in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, is an all-inclusive folding carton/packaging company that has been providing customers of every size with hands-on, individualized attention for over 75 years. They pride themselves on delivering excellence at every stage of the process – from structural and graphic design, to printing and converting.

In 2010, the original owner decided he was ready to retire and sell the business. To set the new owner up for long term success, Investors Community Bank utilized the Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loan program to obtain a term loan for the refinancing of existing debt that was at a different bank. This debt restructure provided Color Craft additional cash flow to accommodate their growth.

The Advantages of the SBA 7(a) Loan Program

At the time, the SBA was offering a 90% guarantee to the bank, and were also waiving the customer’s guarantee fees, which meant a savings of tens of thousands of dollars. Also, by working through the SBA, ICB was able to sell the guarantee into the secondary market, which allowed the customer to enjoy long term fixed rate financing not offered conventionally. The SBA was also offering increased Express Loan program limits up to $1,000,000 instead of the normal $350,000 maximum. We were able to provide the customer with a $1,000,000 Express program line of credit for working capital purposes, which allowed the company to grow. 

In addition to securing the financing, ICB assisted with the complex application process involved in the debt restructure. We worked with the borrower’s accountant to get the application submitted to the SBA in a tight time frame prior to the expiration of the SBA offer. ICB went above and beyond to work with Color Craft on loan options, the application process and securing the best financing, when other banks turned them away.

While this debt was restructured in 2010 using programs available at the time, the SBA continues to offer many programs for small business financing needs, and often has limited time offers available where borrowers can save on fees and possibly even have the SBA make payments for a few months. At the present time, the SBA is offering up to 90% guarantees and no fees for loans approved prior to September 30, 2021. They will also cover two months of loan payments until funding runs out. Talk to an Investors Community Bank business lender to see what loan options may be right for you. 

As a result of the refinance, and a dedicated and hard-working staff, the company grew exponentially in the following years. Their sales increased from $13 million in 2010 to $20 million in 2015. The borrower has since sold most of his interest in the company but continues to work for the newest owner. The sale provided financial stability to our borrower and has put them in a very comfortable financial position that would not have been achieved had we not been able to come through with the financing.


Written by Jeff Jagodinsky

Jeff has been a part of the banking industry for over 30 years, primarily working in commercial and conventional lending. He has deep experience with government-sponsored lending programs, including SBA, USDA and FSA. The part of his job he enjoys most is helping clients start and build their businesses to be able to reach their goals.

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