July 13, 2010 // Franchising.com // CHICAGO – BrightStar®, the first franchising company in the United States to specialize in both medical and non-medical care and healthcare staffing, announced today that it has become the first franchisor to receive a credit facility from a new SBA guaranteed lending program created by Franchise America Finance and The Bancorp Bank.
The $6 million facility provides start-up franchisees entering the BrightStar system, as well as expansion funding for existing franchisees that are ready to expand their businesses. An acquisition funding program has also been defined for existing franchisees. This capital allows BrightStar franchisees to help stimulate the economy by creating new permanent and sustainable jobs.
"We are humbled that after a long journey of negotiating the very best terms for our franchisees, BrightStar is the first franchisor in the country to be approved to offer this program," said Shelly Sun, Co-Founder and CEO of BrightStar. "The successful completion of a financing program in this difficult market is a testament to the strength of our business model and an important step in the company's continued growth."
The lending program is the first of its kind, providing a collaborative effort between lender and franchisor to set up a predictable model for franchise financing. Specifically created for start-up and expanding franchise businesses, the program is limited to approximately 30 franchise systems with measured performance and experience within their operations. Funding is available for new and existing franchisees who meet predetermined standards set by The Bancorp Bank.
"We are thrilled to have BrightStar as our first approved franchise system in our strategic alliance with The Bancorp Bank," said Ronald Feldman, CEO of Franchise America Finance stated. "BrightStar's metrics fit our goals in providing capital to franchisees to start and grow their businesses. Their grasp on the unit economics of their franchisees allowed BrightStar to move quickly through our brand underwriting process. We look forward to a great relationship with Shelly Sun and the whole BrightStar team."
According to Feldman, Franchise America Finance is currently in the underwriting process with a number of additional brands and looks forward to becoming the preeminent source of capital for the best in franchising.
Founded in 2002 and franchising since 2005, BrightStar is a full-service healthcare staffing agency that provides the full continuum of care, from homecare to supplemental staffing for corporate clients such as hospitals, nursing homes, and doctors offices. BrightStar's well-qualified, attentive caregivers provide peace of mind to clients and their families. They work to understand the needs of their clients and provide customized care to match them with a qualified, pre-screened caregiver who is compatible with their needs. Today, BrightStar has grown from one company-owned store to over 160 locations in 32 states and continues to open 7-12 territories each month.
Franchise America Finance, LLC (FAF) was formed by a group of franchising professionals to address the void in the capital markets for franchising. FAF's services are in addition to the core franchise finance services that are performed by Siegel Financial Group™. FAF can provide senior and subordinated debt, mezzanine financing and place equity for franchisors and franchisees.