If Jose Saldivar was going to be able to help more clients, he would need more employees — and a bigger office that would welcome them, a professional setting where they could discuss their cases.
More than 13 years after he founded Saldivar & Associates, PLLC, with more than 13 years of renting, the Phoenix-based law firm now owns its new location, purchasing an existing office building, a spacious headquarters with more than 3,800 SF at 2417 N. 24th St., in Phoenix.
“Owning a building has helped me focus on helping the community and has opened the doors to other commercial real estate projects,” said Saldivar, the firm’s managing attorney in charge of supervising all employees. “Knowing that for the first time I was no longer depending on a landlord to stay in the building was a relief.
“As the economy changes, rent also changes, and it becomes challenging for a small business to keep up with higher rent. Having my own building gives me the certainty that my law firm will continue to thrive and help people in need of quality legal representation,” Saldivar said.
Saldivar & Associates was able to make this move thanks to an SBA 504 loan through CDC Small Business Finance, a mission-driven lender based in California with operations in Arizona and Nevada. CDC Small Business Finance is part of the Momentus Capital family of companies, which also includes Capital Impact Partners and Ventures Lending Technologies.
When he started the process of purchasing the building, Saldivar said he had little knowledge in commercial property and the lending process. He had heard that SBA lending works well with first-time buyers.
“As a first-time buyer of a commercial property and owner of a law firm, it was important for me to find a lending company that could accommodate my busy schedule,” he said. “The application process was surprisingly easy. The lender was always able and willing to help make the process easier and faster.”
CDC Small Business Finance continues to be an economic development leader, holding its No. 1 position as SBA 504 lender with 20 loans in the Arizona district, totaling $16.9 million for the period from October through December 2022.
“It was a pleasant experience buying my first commercial building,” Saldivar said. “It is vital for a small business willing and able to buy a commercial property to find a team that understands small business owners that manage and work full time. CDC Small Business Finance understood all of my needs and was able to accommodate me when I had questions about the application.
“During the application process I felt overwhelmed and unsure in some parts of the application. However, the finance team explained and helped from beginning to end. The response was always fast and to the point, making me feel secure that I was completing the process correctly.”
The SBA 504 loan structure continues to be in high demand, despite rising interest rates. The 25-year fixed interest rate option provides a controlled budget for business owners who are seeing lease rates continue to climb.
“Cathie Kelly with Desert Financial Credit Union was our participating lender. She advised Mr. Saldivar on the SBA 504 structure and provided us with a financial package,” said Belinda Rosthenhausler, CDC Small Business Finance’s vice president and commercial lender for Arizona and Nevada. “Our partnership with lenders is essential for the SBA 504 loan program. They are the advisers to the borrower/business owners and explain the benefits to the SBA 504 loan program.
“As rental rates continue to increase, more business owners are requesting to be prequalified. Our team is ready to help,” Rosthenhausler said. “The 10 percent down payment and 25-year fixed rate allow business owners a sense of security. A purchase should not utilize all working capital available, and allows an owner a 25-year fixed budget for real estate.”