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The Lending Landscape Has Changed: What Small Businesses Can Expect?

It takes one scroll through Twitter to feel like doomsday is on the horizon. COVID-19 has spread through the financial markets just as fast as it spread across the world.

Banks are asking for bailouts, lenders are no longer interested in certain industries, and small businesses are just wondering—am I going to make it?

I wanted to see what the loan market looked like for small businesses, directly from the source. Not a tweet thread or a catchy headline on Google News.

What are lenders actually thinking about when it comes to loaning to small businesses while in the COVID-19 crisis?

Christina Camacho is the founder and CEO of Ivy Lender. She’s the youngest self-funded female founder of a Registered ISO and she’s worked with small businesses and Fortune 500 companies.

Here’s what Christina Camacho of Ivy Lender has to say.

#1: How have you seen the landscape in lending change the last few days due to COVID-19’s changes to the US economy?

“The lending landscape has completely changed over the course of the past few days.

While some lenders are still funding loans, their appetite for certain industries has completely changed. Some industries that were once deemed low risk and frequently sought after by lenders and brokers alike pre-Covid19 are now on restricted lists to lenders across the country. Also, more conservative lenders are halting closings altogether until they assess what happens to the markets over the next 30-90 days.

For businesses that need a loan as quickly as possible, Ivy Lender is helping small businesses apply and get approved for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan through the federal government. Qualified businesses will receive up to 10k in grant funding and a traditional SBA loan with a capped interest rate. These loans are specifically in place to stabilize businesses during the coronavirus pandemic”

#2: What 3 things is your business doing to continue to provide lending solutions to small businesses?

“While the next couple of weeks will be tough, overnight Ivy Lender's platform is now in high demand. What we do differently than any other platforms in the market are as follows:

  1. The core of our business is lending. We help our borrowers access the capital they need to keep their doors open. Our first line of defense is to ensure that we exhaust all options of available funding for applicants using our platform.

  2. We created a GoFundMe page with a $500,000 goal to assist 100 small businesses that we are not able to match with a lender on our platform. We will deploy $5,000 checks to borrowers that come to our website and are unable to obtain funding due to market conditions.

  3. We are encouraging businesses to join our waitlist for our Credit Booster product launching later this year. This will be a freemium service that will equip businesses with tools to stay on top of their tradeline and consumer credit scores. Our mobile application will give them advice on how to repair their credit. Something tells me this will be necessary for the masses as businesses will be faced with tough decisions when it comes to their A/P in the coming weeks.”

#3: How do you see this change impacting our economy?

The extent of the economic impact is still unknown at this time as the virus hasn't been controlled and mandated quarantines are just now being enforced in parts of the world.

The speed of the initial effects that we have witnessed combined with the international reach are putting us all in uncharted territory. Uncertainty and fear has had experts mentioning terms like "recession" and even "depression." Only time will tell.”

#4: Why do you feel personally driven to help small businesses during this time?

“I have worked with small and mid-sized businesses my entire career. As a banker, my favorite part of my job was getting to know my customer's journey of success.

Over the years I have banked wildly successful entrepreneurs and all of them share a common theme, although their stories are unique to their journey. They all have overcome tremendous adversity along the way and found creative ways to adapt and manage stressful times during their company's life cycle.

I self-funded my company for the better part of four years and that has made me relate to my clients more than ever. I understand the pressure and fears my clients are facing. I understand the sacrifice it takes to push through times of uncertainty.

This crisis is keeping me up at night just the same as my clients. I know that I cannot help all of my clients with the impact they are facing, but I sure can do my best to hit my goal of making a dent starting with the 100 businesses I am looking to deploy emergency capital to from this fundraiser.

We need to stick together as a community to keep one another afloat whether that is financially or emotionally. Times like these bring a lot of bad apples to the surface and my fear is the inevitable exploitation of desperation we will see worldwide.”

While COVID-19 has changed the lending landscape, it hasn’t changed all banker’s and lender’s opinions about small businesses. The key to surviving the next few months is going to be more than determination, but finding someone who wants to help those in need.

More about Christina Camacho:

Christina Camacho is the Founder and CEO of Ivy Lender. Christina spent her banking career working with SMB's as well as Fortune 500 companies at the top Financial Institutions in the U.S. Christina re-structured a merchant services line of business for a Regional Bank at 26 years old and became the youngest self-funded female founder of a Registered ISO in 2016. Seeking an opportunity to address an underserved market, she created a loan management system that connects brokers, payment processors, and lenders. Her loan marketplace addresses a wide scope of credit profiles for SMB's across North America and promotes financial inclusion by providing applications with financial literacy. Christina was named 40 under 40 Game Changers in the Payments Space in 2019 by the Electronic Transaction Association and 1 of 50 of the Most Influential Founders in the World by Harrington Star.



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