Insights Aug 20, 2021

A new lender podcast featuring another RealAtom customer – Gulf Coast Small Business Lending

We think logically and move quickly. We provide great terms and competitive rates to borrowers across a range of industries on loans up to $10,000,000.

Gulf Coast Small Business Lending

Tyler White:

Welcome everybody to the RealAtom lender podcast series, where you’ll learn about the lenders on the RealAtom platform and the organizations they represent. My name is Tyler White RealAtom’s head of sales. RealAtom is the industry’s number one lending as a service technology platform, empowering commercial real estate lenders like banks, credit unions, and non-banking organizations to generate more CRE loans. Today I have the pleasure of introducing Jim Frey and Paul de Pasquale from Gulf Coast Small Business Lending, Jim and Paul. Thank you very much for taking the time to present to us today. Let me pass it over to you to kick things off.

Paul de Pasquale:

Great Tyler, thank you for having myself and Jim on this call with you. We’ve been looking forward to doing this call with you. Just want to give you a little bit of background about  Gulf Coast Small Business Lending. We are a division of Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Company based out of New Orleans, Louisiana. Currently, we have 12 BDOs like Jim and myself that are spread out throughout 16 states and we are nationwide lenders. We do have some of our BDOs that have worked with RealAtom in the past. I and Jim are newer to the site. So look forward to working with many of your brokers. A little bit about Gulf Coast Bank and Trust Company. So our division is based out of Dallas, Texas, Gulf Coast Small Business Lending. We are a direct PLP lender, meaning we lend our money. We’re not brokers.

Our sweet spot for lending includes business acquisition deals are $750K to $4 million. What I’d like to say about our division is that we take a common-sense approach to underwrite, meaning we are cash flow lenders, and we look at historical tax returns and financials. We do like business acquisition deals as well as real estate deals. We’ll do biz acq deals with large goodwill components – that is not an issue with our bank, which makes us a little unique compared to other institutions out there on top of which we have our own restaurant underwriting division. So we specialize in those types of loans where many of the banks today back away from those types of loans. As far as our commercial real estate products, we lend on that as well, you know, we’re at 10% equity injection with total project costs.

So we’ll even do ground-up construction deals. So we’re at 90% LTV. And again, we’re very aggressive in this field. I’ll let Jim take it over from here, which, you know, have him explain a little bit more in-depth about why we’re such unique lenders. 

Jim Frey:

Yeah. Thanks, Paul. So again, you know, I’ve worked at a number of different SBA lenders. You know, we’re all national SBA lenders and lend in all 50 states, just like the other people, but what makes us unique? Well, you know, the pre-approval process here is what really brought me here and what I really like. So we can look at a deal, get a partial package, not the whole thing, but, and usually within a couple of days, 1, 2, 3 days we run it past the credit manager, maybe a couple of questions and we can offer a pre-approval and that gives the buyer, the seller, or the broker, a high level of comfort and confidence.

So we can give them a letter with some terms and structure and they can count on that we can deliver. So we still go through an underwriting process afterward, more of a formality, but it’s a really good thing that we can help with from the start in a short period of time. A lot of people like that and that really makes us different. And also, you know, in 2020, a lot of other SBA lenders really pulled back or even stopped lending. We kept lending – we completed acquisitions, startups, construction, things like that.  You know, the restaurants are a little bit harder industry for most even December and November of 2020, I financed a startup restaurant and two business acquisition restaurants among the other deals. So the point is we can do independent and franchise deals, acquisitions and startups.

So and, and we’re doing construction, which is a little bit unusual to what else is unique. You know, attention, all brokers. This is for brokers, commercial loan brokers, commercial real estate brokers, franchise brokers. We pay referral fees. Ours escalate so the more you refer to us, the more we pay you. And it’s kinda cool cause there’s no annual reset, like some of the other banks.  With the relationship that you have with us over the years, the more it goes up, through the different tiers, and we can pay you more and you know, I kind of alluded to it and sort of Paul, again, we do restaurants and franchises and we have a specialization there. 

So what else makes us unique is, you know, we develop, we have a specialization here, our credit manager, and a few of our underwriters have a strong background in franchise lending and restaurant lending, both independent and franchise. So, you know, they came into our bank with that background and it’s a strong part. We can do the startups, the acquisitions, and the construction for real estate and for lease locations that’s something that not every bank does. But I really like the approach, pre-approval process, and everything here at Gulf Coast. And just real quick, before I was in banking, I ran a family business for over 10 years and I actually got an SBA line of credit back in the early nineties. It was kind of all paper, no computers, it was a nightmare, but anyhow, it gave me an experience of perception for both sides of the table as a business owner.

And now as a banker, Paul, you want to tell a little bit about your background.

Paul de Pasquale

Yes, Jim, thanks. So I have over 20 years of experience in the financial services industry and prior to becoming a banker, I too was a small business owner and ventured out to being a financial advisor before jumping into the commercial banking industry. My SBA experience is pretty extensive and that I was with a CDC for SBA 504 deals.  Now I’m with Gulf Coast Bank and Trust going on my fourth year now.  We get to do business acquisitions as well as CRE. And where’s the difference between 504 and 7a is you can start building inventory, working capital and, you know, really set yourself apart from other lenders out there. Good Tyler, I appreciate it. Yeah. Thank you.

Tyler White:

Perfect. Well, it’s a special thanks to, you know, Jim, Paul, and Gulf Coast Small Business Lending for taking the time to present to us today. If you’re interested in speaking with Gulf Coast, please be sure to contact Jim or Paul directly. If you’re interested in speaking with me in between episodes, feel free to send me an email at And if you’re interested in learning more about RealAtom or are participating in our lender podcast series, please visit our website. It Thanks again, Jim and Paul, and everyone for viewing, and look forward to seeing you on the next episode.

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