Jennings Named Rural Missouri Inc. Member

Monday, May 01 at 05:30 AM
Category: Arvest Community News

Arvest loan manager in Fayetteville, Ark. is an active small business proponent.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Arvest Bank’s Eileen Jennings has been named a member of Rural Missouri Inc. (RMI).

RMI is a community development corporation based in Jefferson City, Mo., that has announced plans to partner with banks in 10 Arkansas counties to provide SBA 504 loans. The 504 program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration provides financing for major fixed assets such as equipment and real estate.

RMI has delivered SBA 504 loans for more than 30 years, leveraging more than $1.7 billion in financing and creating more than 19,000 jobs, according to the company.

Jennings was elected at RMI’s annual membership meeting April 27-28. Additionally, she will serve on RMI’s Jefferson City, Mo. Loan Review Committee.

Jennings is a senior vice president and area loan manager for Arvest in Fayetteville. She began her career at Arvest in 2004 and has held numerous positions. In addition to launching an internal education effort aimed at helping bankers better understand commercial customers, Jennings was named the 2016 Commercial Banker of the Year by the Central Arkansas Chapter of The Risk Management Association. She also is a board member for Northwest Arkansas Land Trust.

Eileen is a true champion for small businesses. Her commitment to seeing them succeed is remarkable, and she will do a fantastic job for Rural Missouri Inc.

Tags: Arkansas, Arvest Biz, Associates, Business Banking, Community Support, Equipment Finance, Fayetteville, Missouri

Leases Versus Loans: The Best Option for Your Business Equipment Needs

Wednesday, April 05 at 02:20 PM
Category: Business Banking
Small business owners often bring their consumer mindset to running their businesses – particularly in the early years of owning. In many regards this mindset is helpful because they can more easily think like their customers.

One area where this mentality can hinder their progress is when it comes to the idea of leasing. Most entrepreneurs want to own their stuff. That’s why they became business owners. They often think leasing doesn’t make sense for the computers, TVs and furniture in their homes, as well as the cars in their garage, so why would it make sense at their company?

What they don’t realize is that there are many advantages to equipment leasing for small businesses.

One of the most important benefits is that leasing some of the equipment needed to run a business means that their access to capital for expanding or getting through a temporary downturn in business isn’t tied up in equipment loans. Every business has a limit to the capital it can access. If a new business ties up the majority of its lending limits by purchasing computers, software and other basic tools for the business then it may not have the ability to expand with another location or new equipment that might improve output or efficiency.

There can also be significant tax benefits for leasing equipment as, in many instances, the lease payments can be fully deductible against current earnings.

One area where equipment leasing is gaining in popularity is for technology-based or enabled equipment. Whereas a decade ago most technology equipment had a useful life of five or more years, the pace of innovation means a computer or computer-driven device may be effectively out of date within three years. If your computer equipment is leased, you will never find yourself with old, outdated equipment with limited ability to replace it. This isn’t just true of design firms, engineers and other creative businesses, in today’s world there are computers driving everything from farm equipment to the most basic manufacturing equipment.

Probably one of the most overlooked benefits of leasing rather than purchasing is what it does to small business’ balance sheet and what that can mean as the business grows. When you lease equipment, you avoid having too much long-term debt on your balance sheet. Your equipment is part of your regular business expenses, and that’s all. For the new business owner who may think it’s dangerous to have that expense, it usually isn’t much different than the monthly depreciation expense needed for the equipment that was purchased and is now a company asset. Leasing just makes for a more attractive balance sheet – which will be needed when the successful company is ready to grow and expand.

All of these benefits are why commercial and industrial equipment leasing has grown faster than traditional bank lending since 2009. According to the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA), more than $1 trillion of investments in business plants, equipment and software were projected to be financed through loans, leases, or lines of credit in 2016.  

When considering a lease versus a loan there are several factors to consider. With traditionally smaller monthly payments, leasing can be a budget-friendly option if cash flow is tight or unpredictable from quarter to quarter. Leasing typically does not require the same requirements for approval that a traditional loan would. If a large sum for a down payment is a concern, leasing can be a great option.

There are many other things to consider when evaluating whether to pursue a loan or lease to equip a new business, expand an existing business or simply upgrade and replace current equipment. Call your bank or a leasing/finance company so they can help you determine what option is best for your specific situation and business needs. Don’t discount equipment leasing without fully understanding the possible short- and long-term benefits it can offer. 

Tags: Arvest Biz, Business Banking, Equipment Finance

Arvest Equipment Finance Enjoys Continued Growth

Friday, March 10 at 06:30 AM
Category: Business Banking

Volume increases more than 25 percent for second consecutive year.

 Arvest Equipment Finance (AEF) recorded a second consecutive year of at least 25 percent growth in volume, the division of Arvest Bank announced today.

After seeing a jump of more than 27.9 percent in loans and leases from 2014 to 2015, AEF ended 2016 with $234.7 million in loans and leases. That’s a year-over-year increase of 25.1 percent. Additionally, AEF increased its number of contracts from 1,046 in 2015 to 1,816 in 2016.

“Our growth was a combination of increased volume from the commercial lenders and from our vendor production, which is an area we are focusing on for future growth,” said AEF president Eric Bunnell. “Our experienced operations team did a fantastic job of meeting the demands for the increased volume, while the sales team was able to increase their joint calls with lenders and vendors, which led to new opportunities.”

AEF also announced a round of new hires and a promotion. John Bradford has been promoted to sales manager, while Omar Portillo was hired as manager of credit administration and Rick Dierks as equipment finance specialist for Missouri and Kansas. AEF is headquartered in Fort Smith, Ark., with locations in Little Rock, Kansas City and Tulsa, and does business throughout Arvest’s four-state footprint.

It also was announced that Matt Crawley and John Raymond Pitre have earned the Certified Lease & Finance Professional (CLFP) designation. The CLFP designation identifies an individual as a knowledgeable professional to employers, clients, customers and peers in the equipment finance industry.

Arvest employs nine of the more than 400 CLFPs in the United States and Canada. That total ties Arvest for the sixth-highest number of CLFPs among all companies.

Tags: Arvest Biz, Business Banking, Equipment Finance, Press Release

Equipment Leasing

Wednesday, January 25 at 07:05 AM
Category: Business Banking
Most business owners spend considerable time analyzing and trying to improve the cash flow of their business for day-to-day operations and for growing the business.

One method of improving a company's cash flow is to lease necessary equipment instead of buying it outright. This saves an initial outlay for the entire cost of the equipment and spreads it over some term with flexibility in payment structures. Equipment leasing is a very common way many small business owners help capitalize their business and manage their cash flow.
How does it work?
An equipment lease is a contract between the company (lessee) and the financing company (lessor). The financing company may be a bank, leasing company or the equipment manufacturer. The contract commits the company to make monthly payments over a period of time for the use of the equipment. It may also include an option for the company to buy the equipment, for some stated price, at the end of the lease. The amount of the monthly lease payment is based on:
  1. The purchase price of the equipment
  2. An agreed upon interest rate
  3. Term of the lease
  4. Creditworthiness of the lessee
  5. Estimated residual value of the equipment at the end of the lease
There may be some initial down payment on the lease. During the lease period, the company usually has the obligation of maintaining and insuring the equipment. At the end of the lease, depending on the terms, the lessee may buy the equipment or just let the lessor take it back.
Pros and cons of equipment leasing
  1. Any initial down payment will, of course, be less than the total cost of the equipment. This immediately reduces cash outflow.
  2. Lease payments can be tax-deductible business expenses. If you own the equipment outright, there would be annual depreciation expenses.
  3. The lease approval process is usually relatively quick.
  4. The amount of paperwork may be less than that required for a business loan.
  5. If the lessor is also the equipment vendor, the lease may have a lower interest rate built into it than what would be used by an independent leasing company.
  6. An option to purchase at the end of the lease gives the business the right, not the obligation, to purchase. This choice can enable the business to reduce the risk of ending up owning a piece of obsolete equipment.
  7. Some leasing companies may also require a personal guarantee of the lease by the owner of the business.
In evaluating whether to buy or lease, make sure to weigh the benefit of improved current cash flow against the cost of money (the interest rate) built into the lease. If leasing makes sense for you, this method of financing can be a very good way to grow your business. 
Tags: Arvest Biz, Business Banking, Equipment Finance

Arvest Equipment Finance Enjoys Increased Volume

Monday, February 29 at 07:30 AM
Category: Business Banking

Division's loans and leases jumps more than 27 percent.

LOWELL, Ark. — Arvest Equipment Finance (AEF) reported a boost in volume in 2015, ending the year with $187.6 million in loans and leases. That’s up more than 27.9 percent from 2014, when the division of Arvest Bank had year-end volume of $146.6 million in loans and leases.

“The success our team experienced in 2015 was due in large part to the addition of some seasoned commercial bankers to our equipment finance team,” AEF president Kyle W. Gilliam, CLFP said. “This allowed each of our specialists the opportunity to spend more time in their markets assisting customers with their equipment finance needs, while providing even better customer service than before.

“The hard work and dedication of our operations team must also be acknowledged. I believe we have assembled one of the best back-office teams in the country here at AEF. Our specialists depend on their professionalism and expertise each and every day.”

While AEF experienced 27.9 percent growth, the equipment finance sector nationally grew 10.6 percent from an estimated $946 billion in 2014 to an estimated $1.046 trillion in 2015.** Also nationally, investment in equipment and software is expected to grow 4.4 percent in 2016.*** 

AEF is headquartered in Fort Smith, Ark., with locations in Little Rock, Kansas City and Oklahoma City. It also announced several recent promotions. Eric Bunnell of Kansas City was promoted to Sales Manager; Lori Dean and Teena Smith, both of Fort Smith, were promoted to Director of Operations and Operations Manager, respectively; John Harders of Fayetteville was promoted to Senior Sales Support Officer. All four are among the roughly 300 Certified Lease & Finance Professionals in good standing in the United States and Canada.**** 

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution. 


Tags: Arvest Biz, Business Banking, Equipment Finance, Press Release

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