July 26, 2016 (CHARLOTTE, NC – GASTONIA, NC – BRUNSWICK, ME) – Sleepy Poet Stuff, Inc. and Sleepy Poet-Kress, LLC have closed on a $920,000 loan from CEI 7(a) Financing LLC (C7a), an SBA 7(a)-licensed lender. This is the first loan transaction for C7a in North Carolina.
Dickson Shreffler, owner of Sleepy Poet Stuff, Inc., was the perfect candidate for C7a. He started the antique mall business with Sleepy Poet Stuff about 20 years ago in Charlotte. Sleepy Poet provides space for independent antique vendors to sell their wares. Vendors are very loyal, rarely leaving once they join the retail space. In fact, ten of them have been with Sleepy poet for more than 12 years.
Thanks to increased consumer demand, Sleepy Poet sought to expand. After an extensive search and due diligence the owners found the perfect space, the old Kress Five and Dime building in downtown Gastonia, about a half hour drive from Charlotte. While the historic building fit the antique entrepreneur’s brand, the structure had been vacant for nearly two years and requires a good deal of work to be ready for business. After renovation the space should accommodate 120 vendors.
Mr. Shreffler approached two different local banks for a loan to finance the building acquisition and renovation costs without success. Needing a solution, He turned to LINC (which stands for Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital), an online tool designed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) which allows business owners to complete a basic online questionnaire that is then matched to interested lenders. He was matched with C7a which works with small businesses owners to help them secure financing when turned down by a bank or face challenging loan terms.
“C7a didn’t just offer us a loan; they had the flexibility to structure the loan in a way that worked for us,” Mr. Shreffler said.
The C7a loan represents more than allow Sleepy Poet’s expansion to Gastonia. It will also be a catalyst for new foot traffic for the western side of Main Street as new small businesses expand the prime downtown shopping district creating new opportunities for local vendors and for the historic downtown area.
About CEI 7(a) Financing LLC
CEI 7(a) Financing LLC (C7a) is a national U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Small Business Lending Company licensed to make SBA 7(a) loans for a wide variety of uses and is designated as an alternative lender or non-traditional lender compared to conventional banks. C7a’s loan fund provides access to long-term capital at reasonable interest rates throughout the United States. Loans are available to eligible businesses that have been operating for a minimum of two years and have up to 500 employees. The loan amounts can range in size from over $250,000 to $5,000,000, depending on the project and financial status of the company. The terms of the loans are more flexible and the interest rate can be lower in most instances than those offered from some commercial banks and online lending programs. C7a accepts applications from healthy, growing companies that have had difficulty gaining access to long-term capital. For more information on C7a, please visit: www.cei7a.com.