Teveia Barnes
IBank Executive Director
O ver the years, I’ve observed just how proud Californian’s are of their state’s standing in the world. California’s economy ranks fifth globally. The state’s economic output reached approximately $2.6 trillion in 2017. Only four countries boast greater gross domestic products (GDP) than the Golden State. What does this have to do with small business? Everything.

Often, when small businesses are discussed they are seen as little mom-and-pop shops that employ just a handful of people at best and have only a modest impact on the overall regional economic picture. Consider this: Small businesses permeate the very fabric of California’s economy and can be found in every market sector. Take a look at some of the largest businesses in the world that call California home and you will see that they began as very small businesses. For example, Apple, Amazon and Google were born in a garage, and Facebook was cooked up in a dorm room.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, in 2017 California was home to 3.8 million small businesses, which means that 99.8% of all businesses in California were classified as “small businesses.” These ‘little mom-and-pop shops’ employ 6.8 million Californians, or nearly 50% of everyone in the state’s private workforce. If you are a California exporter, there’s a 95.9% chance that you are a small business.

The State of California recognized the importance of small business years ago and entrusted IBank – in cooperation with its Financial Development Corporation (FDC) partners – to deliver programs that encourage, fund and help grow this important segment of our economy.
Through our three Small Business Finance Center (SBFC) programs – Small Business Loan Guarantee Program, the Jump Start Loan Program, and Farm Loan Program – IBank has made a significant contribution to the growth of California’s small business sector by offering a guarantee on otherwise "hard-to-get" loans in low-wealth communities and supplying invaluable technical assistance and financial literacy training.

Combined, these programs have produced a staggering 300,000 jobs in California.

IBank has supported more than 16,600 loans amounting to nearly $2.7 billion for entrepreneurs through its credit enhancement programs. It has provided nearly $1.6 billion in loan guarantees.

I am sure that California will continue to reap the benefits of a strong small business sector. Many entrepreneurs who start and run them are infused with a ‘can-do’ spirit and know that careful planning and hard work will pay off. I want them to know that IBank will be there to help. 

Take care,
Santa Rosa-based Poppy Bank, formerly First Community Bank, opened its first branch in 2005. Since then, Poppy Bank has grown to 11 branches across the San Francisco Bay Area.

For 50 years, BAC Community Bank has been providing comprehensive financial and banking services to area businesses, professionals, and individuals.

Founded in 2001, Celtic Bank Corporation is a small business lender specializing in SBA 7(a) loans, asset-based lines of credit, term loans, USDA B&I loans, SBA 504 loans, and conventional business loans. 
Premier Valley Bank's experienced bankers have a unique understanding of local industries, issues, and markets to provide comprehensive banking solutions.
Since 1984, Long Beach-based International City Bank has been dedicated to serving the financial needs of businesses and business professionals throughout Southern California
Financial Development Corporation: Cal Coastal Rural Development Corp.
Borrower: Chris and Jamie Neutill dba Cork Mobile Bottling
Lender: Coast Hills Credit Union
Loan Amount: $180,000
Employees: 2
Date: March 6, 2018
T he romantic vision of winemaking lives on in California: armies of leafy varietal vines draped across golden hills; sun ripened grapes crushed into a heavenly juice; and skilled, artisan vintners adding ‘just right’ touches to make the final, perfect vintage. But, what happens to the wine after that?

While many believe that wineries bottle their own product on site, the truth is…they don’t. Most vintners rely on mobile bottlers–the unsung heroes of the industry. Chris and Jamie Neutill of Atascadero, California, are two of those heroes.

The Neutills know the wine industry, especially the ever-growing list of wineries popping up along California’s Central Coast. Their research of industry data showed there to be approximately 500 wineries in Monterey, Paso Robles, and Santa Barbara counties alone. They mixed in the fact that 90% of all wineries rely on outside bottling for their products. Finally, they considered that wine sales grew 10% from 2016-2017. Bingo! Cork Mobile Bottling.

A mobile wine bottling business is right in Neutills’ comfort zone. Currently the couple owns and operates Cork Mobile Bartending which caters alcoholic beverages at various functions and events, and CJN Event Planning which works with winery venues and serves as event coordinator to nonprofit organizations. 

In order to start on the road to success, the Neutills worked with Cal Coastal Rural Development Corporation to obtain a $180,000 loan from Coast Hills Credit graranteed through IBank's Small Business
Loan Guarantee Program. The couple injected a little over $86,000 of their own funds bringing the total to approximately $266,000 in order to purchase the bottling equipment and a used trailer. Cork Mobile Bottling will hire an on-call, part-time employee as the work load demands, and the equipment manufacturer will provide training and designate Jamie as a Certified Bottler.

According to Wines & Vines database of industry suppliers, Cork Mobile Bottling will join a small group of 20 mobile wine bottling businesses in North America. For most wineries, both large and small, mobile bottlers take over a vital part of the production process and take away the burdensome costs associated with purchasing a bottling line that eats up valuable space. Essentially, mobile bottling is an assembly line on wheels. Inside the large trailers resides all of the equipment–from corking to labeling–a winery needs.

While the couple plans to keep their current jobs, they realize that their knowledge of California’s wine industry, and their experience and exposure in the wine community, have positioned them to drive Cork Mobile Bottling on to success.
Small Business Finance Center Welcomes New Employees
IBank announced the addition of two members to the Small Business Finance Center team.
Megan Hodapp has been hired as a loan servicing analyst.

Megan received her Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Sacramento. Her first job was in retail banking and she spent many years in both retail and commercial banking. After the economic downfall Megan spent some time working as a card dealer and croupier in a local casino.
Megan began her career with the State of California in the Capital Access Program at the State Treasurer’s Office. From there, Megan promoted to the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development as a Small Business Program Analyst in the Office of Small Business Advocate (OSBA), which provides information and assistance to small businesses to help them succeed in the California marketplace. The combination of experience in both the small business and the financing community prepared her for her transition into the IBank team. 
Megan said she came to IBank as a loan servicing analyst for a variety of reasons, including what she calls the “feel good” aspects of the job. “I enjoy helping others and being able to support the small businesses in California,” she said. “There is much more than just the financial side of it, I truly enjoy the educational component and assisting people with how to start and grow a business.”
Asked what she finds enjoyable at IBank, Megan immediately points to the friendliness of the staff, the team camaraderie, working alongside SBFC Manager Emily Burgos and the opportunity to help people.
When not helping small businesses, Megan is a volunteer at Sacramento’s Front Street Animal Shelter where she is a dog handler, working with shelter dogs both in kennel and participating in offsite adoption events.  
Yana Buryak has joined IBank as a Small Business Finance Center analyst. Her experience as a Retirement Program Specialist at CalPERS, and her bachelor's degree in Applied Mathematics and Statistics from California State University, Sacramento, prepared her well to be part of the busy SBFC team. Prior to her state service, Yana has also worked as a mathematics and statistics tutor in the math lab of Sacramento City College. She loves numbers and analytical problems.
What does she like about her new job? “Here I’m able to grow and develop as an analyst,” she said. “I’m gaining a new valuable set of knowledge and skills in the banking and finance industry every day. It’s definitely a great experience to be part of IBank’s team and to acquire experience in a real business environment. She added that working alongside Megan and Emily has been a pleasure.
Away from work, Yana is an avid tennis player who was a standout on her college team. She loves challenge and believes that it empowers and motivates people on their path to success. She acknowledges that she still plays tennis but would love to play competitively again – especially in the United States Tennis Association (USTA) league. When not swinging a racket, Yana enjoys swimming, hiking and traveling. 
SBDCofOC and Pacific Mercantile Bank team up for a $4.7M loan
The Small Business Development Corporation of Orange County , working with Pacific Mercantile Bank, has helped secure $4.7 million of financing for Superior Pavement Markings, a full-serve striping company headquartered in Ontario, Calif. According to Superior Pavement Marketing President John Lucas, his company was impressed with Pacific Mercantile Bank's resourcefulness in developing a financing solution that supports its expansion plans.

Pacific Mercantile Bank Senior Vice President Mark Martinez said his company was "pleased to develop a customized credit facility to support their working capital needs, as well as utilize the California State Small Business Loan Guarantee Program to secure the financing for a new building to expand their operations."

Congratulations to SBDCofOC for working on this loan all the way down the line.