Startup stories: ‘How we got the cash’
Owner, The Village Vets
Decatur, Ga.Lender: Live Oak Bank
Lending volume: Live Oak sourced SBA loans for other banks until May 2008, when it received its charter to operate as an independent bank. Since then, it has originated more than 100 loans totaling approximately $133 million.
Their story: With nearly 10 years of experience under his belt, Dr. Will Draper opened his own veterinary office in Decatur in 2001. Years later, he launched a second office 20 miles down the road in Lilburn. He grew both businesses under the name “The Village Vets” and kept expanding – until 2007, when he realized that he needed a bigger place.
Envisioning a state-of-the-art animal hospital with an emergency room and three times more space, he sought a loan from Live Oak Bank, a newly founded bank in Wilmington, N.C., to build a facility from the ground up.
“I had interviewed a bunch of different lenders, but when I found Live Oak, they offered to come to us rather than us going to them,” says Draper. “I like the no-nonsense approach and the wealth of knowledge they had about vets.”
That knowledge comes from Live Oak’s niche lending segment: veterinarians. “Right now, we’re a one-trick pony. It’s recession-proof because ….(read more).