Debbie Petrell, Director, SBA 504 National Originations

Redefining lending and leasing drives The Bancorp Commercial Lending to continuously evolve how it fulfills the needs and expectations of business owners. To help accomplish this, Small Business Lending welcomes Debbie Petrell to expand its SBA 504 Lending opportunities. In this blog, she shares her background and how Commercial Lending offers unique lending solutions that help lay the foundation companies can build upon.

Real estate and mortgage banking have always been a part of my professional life. In fact, my experience in the industry started before I had a professional life. Growing up, my father was in the mortgage business, and I was eager to learn from him. My curiosity and eagerness to learn led to starting my career as a mortgage loan processor in residential real estate. Eventually, I wanted to delve deeper into the industry, which steered me to form a commercial mortgage brokerage firm where I worked with local builders and developers to access construction funds. It was this part of my life in which I truly learned all the details that can go into SBA lending, specifically SBA 504 loans. Little did I know this would launch a life-long passion.

Over time, my interest in economic development grew more extensive, and I knew there was more I could do to apply my experience. Ultimately, I found myself working for a Certified Development Company (CDC), where I helped build my area to be the highest-performing region in the state of Florida. In 2020, my team was named the top SBA 504 lender in the country. Through the various deals that came to my team, I quickly became familiar with The Bancorp's Commercial Lending team. When working on a project, I took note of The Bancorp’s attention to detail and how they truly understood their partners’ needs to advocate for their business. Here was a group of professionals whose passion for helping companies to succeed and change economic landscapes met mine. So, when the opportunity opened to join the Commercial Lending team as the new Director of SBA 504 National Originations, it felt like the natural next step to continue the work to help small business owners nationwide access the funding they need to thrive.

Understanding the Complexities of
Commercial Loans

What I have always admired about Commercial Lending at The Bancorp is how the bank handles servicing both SBA 504 and SBA 7(a) loans. With the ability to offer both to business owners, we can be a true collaborator with our clients and provide customized lending solutions to help business owners preserve capital. Strictly for fixed assets such as commercial real estate or heavy machinery and equipment, SBA 504 loans can be more cumbersome in their approval process. However, they can help business owners keep their much-needed liquidity. In addition, by securing a favorable fixed rate, this long-term financing option can be a game changer for new or expanding businesses.

As a national lender, The Bancorp has years of experience helping meet business owners' financing needs in a way many lenders cannot. By working with The Bancorp, business owners can secure loan amounts of up to $10MM to finance new building construction, purchase an existing property, or acquire necessary equipment. With full support from a specialized lending team, we can help fund up to 90% of total project costs with 25-year, fixed-rate terms. This cost-efficient option can also be used to refinance real estate that has high-interest rates or upcoming balloon payments. And through the whole process, the team offers end-to-end service so business owners feel understood, supported, and confident as they prepare to tackle their next venture.

By joining the team, I aim to use my substantial experience in real estate and as a top producer for a CDC to continue enriching The Bancorp’s Small Business Lending practice. As a long-term financial partner, we equip small business owners with knowledge regarding how SBA lending works. With decades of experience in SBA application and underwriting processes, the team provides an invaluable service to business owners unfamiliar with this often-complicated process. With that deep knowledge paired with experts from a wide range of industries nationwide, business owners should look to The Bancorp for SBA 504 loans and other business lending needs.