South Carolina: Small Business Lenders
In the attached spreadsheet, rows 2 – 9, an additional eight non-traditional small business lenders in South Carolina have been provided, including information about the address, website, phone number, areas serviced, and SBA loan programs offered. Below are analyses of the social media messaging & target audiences of Harvest Small Business Finance, Carolina Business Capital, Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC), Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce (BCBCC), and Readycap Lending.
I. Social Media Messaging & Target Audience Analysis
Harvest Small Business Finance
- Harvest Small Business Finance messaging focuses mainly on small business borrowers in America. According to its website, the company is a non-bank lender committed to serving small business borrowers who are ignored by large banks.
- The company's general messaging portrays it as a "nationwide direct lender, SBA preferred lender (PLP), a non-bank lender, and transactional loans lender. On social media, its messaging is concentrated on two platforms, i.e., Facebook and Twitter.
- Harvest Small Business Finance posts three to four messages per month on Twitter and Facebook, which have 33 and 133 followers, respectively.
- It shares the same messages on both platforms, which cover several aspects of the company and its activities, including recruitment announcements, product performances, their competitive advantage, new product launches, etc.
- The company uses a mix of text, imagery, and video to convey its messaging on social media. Its engagement rates are low, especially on Twitter, where users rarely engage with its content. On Facebook, the company attracts at least 'one like' on its posts, while its videos struggle to reach 20 views.
Carolina Business Capital
- Carolina Business Capital's target audience includes statewide small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
- The company specializes in "commercial property financing" only for sole proprietors of SMBs but also provides real estate loans.
- Its general messaging revolves around financing facilities and equipment. Additional information provided on these loans includes how the business would benefit, eligibility information, loan rates & duration, etc.
- Its social media presence includes Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Carolina Business Capital has 22 followers on LinkedIn, 9 followers on Twitter, and 18 followers on Facebook.
- Unfortunately, the company has not tweeted on Twitter and has never posted on LinkedIn. Surprisingly, its last messaging on Facebook is from 2018. Carolina Business Capital uses a mix of graphics and text for the six posts it has shared on Facebook.
Small Business Assistance Corporation
- Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC) has offered about 1,500 loans in 30 years to its core target audience, which includes "new, existing and expanding businesses" that have created a positive impact within their community. However, "women and minority-owned businesses" are given first preference.
- The company's loan programs also support small businesses, especially in asset financing. The company's messaging on its website focuses on its market leadership, with other sections providing details about its loan programs.
- SBAC messaging on social media is on two platforms only, Facebook and LinkedIn. As of May 2, 2020, the company had 648 followers and 578 likes on Facebook, and 319 followers on LinkedIn. A review of SBAC social media presence indicates that it frequently posts on Facebook (almost daily), versus on LinkedIn, where it posts at least once or twice per month.
- The company’s messaging focuses on encouraging customers to apply for loans while also educating them on new products and services. The company also uses its Facebook account to share recent financial news with its audience, event announcements, and industry news, among others.
- SBAC's posts on Facebook and LinkedIn include a mix of text, video, and imagery with industry-focused news updates, along with the most recent happenings; for instance, the current financial news about COVID-19 pandemic.
Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce
- Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce (BCBCC) provides financial assistance to the minority in the community. The chamber is focused on the economic development of African Americans, small businesses, and women-led businesses.
- Its target audience includes "multi-cultural business-owners and experts" within Beaufort and neighboring communities. The general messaging on the company website revolves around empowerment. It reads, "Helping the Beaufort County community grow."
- The company's messaging on social media seems concentrated on Facebook and Twitter. It also aligns with the company's mission to empower African Americans. For instance, the BCBCC Twitter account includes a statement that reads, "Showcasing African American historic sites and Gullah culture."
- BCBCC has 1,763 followers on Twitter, 3,142 followers, and 3,001 likes on Facebook. A review of the company's most recent messaging on Twitter shows that it focused more on events and networking. On Facebook, the messaging is diverse and includes promoting new company products, news updates & announcements, financial news reports, etc.
- The company uses a mix of strategies when positing online, including text, video, and imagery. Facebook holds the bulk of the company's social media activity, including recent 2020 updates. Unfortunately, the BCBCC Twitter account was last updated in May 2019.
- Readycap Lending is a "multi-strategy real estate finance" firm that "originates, acquires, finances and services" SMBs commercial loans. The company has over 400 lending experts nationwide, and its messaging focuses on lending to businesses and the real estate sector.
- Readycap's messaging can be found on its social media, i.e., Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter. On Facebook, the company has 852 followers and 793 likes, on Instagram 91 followers, on LinkedIn 3,481 followers, and 798 followers on Twitter.
- The messaging on these platforms is both educative and promotional as the company aims to inform its audience about the available products, while simultaneously promoting its products and services.
- Readycap Lending uses several social media marketing tactics to reach its target audience, which is primarily real estate clients and small businesses nationwide. Its core focus is on customers wanting multifamily and commercial real estate loans and those seeking residential mortgage lending.
- The company is active on all platforms; however, its activities on Instagram are not as vibrant as activities on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. On Instagram, the company's posts get from 10 to 25 likes with at least two comments for posts with the highest engagement.
- Readycap Lending messaging is diverse to cater to the needs of all its clients. It includes strategies like combining text, imagery, and video to convey its messaging about products, news updates, announcements, promotions & marketing, advertisements, etc.
II. Additional Non-traditional Small Business Lenders in South Carolina
In the attached spreadsheet, rows 2 – 9 are eight more non-traditional small business lenders in South Carolina, including details about their address, website, phone number, areas serviced, and the SBA loan programs they offer. The companies profiled in the spreadsheet are
- CommunityWorks, which provides both SBA Express Loans and SBA Microloans to businesses in South Carolina.
- Lend, Develop, Create (LDC), is another non-profit small business lending organization. It services the counties of Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, and Williamsburg with SBA 7(a) loans.
- Himsl Consulting, LLC, provides small business financing resources to small businesses in South Carolina. The firm offers both SBA 7a and SBA 504 loan programs.
- Provident Business Financial Services is another non-bank lender in South Carolina, providing SBA 504 loans. The company, which is licensed and regulated by the Small Business Administration (SBA), serves the entire South Carolina state.
- BEFCOR — (Business Expansion Funding Corporation) provides is a non-profit economic development lender of SBA 504 loans and headquartered in North Carolina but serving specified parts of upstate South Carolina.
- Business Development Corporation of SC (BDC) is a South Carolina-based non-bank commercial lending company providing SBA 7(a) and SBA 504 loan programs to small businesses in the region.
- Appalachian Development Corporation (ADC) is both a technical assistance and lending partner to small businesses operating in six select upstate counties in South Carolina. It offers the Appalachian Loan Fund (ALF) and SBA 504 loans.
- South Carolina Community Loan Fund (SCCLF) is a non-profit community development finance organization providing loans for community businesses and facilities, health food enterprise loans, and affordable housing loans.
To uncover the social media messaging and target audience of Harvest Small Business Finance, Carolina Business Capital, Small Business Assistance Corporation (SBAC), Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce (BCBCC), and Readycap Lending, your research team started by checking the messaging on each of the websites of these companies, before proceeding to examine their social media pages. Therefore, we relied on information on the companies' websites and their social media platforms to perform an in-depth analysis of its messaging, including the types of messages they post about and their engagement rates. Next, we continued researching into discovering more non-traditional small business lenders in South Carolina. We primarily explored the South Carolina Small Business Administration website, which contained a list with many banks, credit unions, and non-bank lenders in the state. Further, we examined more resources online, especially market finances reports and industry reports on non-bank lending in South Carolina. We thoroughly checked every example we uncovered to ascertain that it is a non-bank lending organization and serves the entire or parts of South Carolina. Overall, the additional companies are included in the attached spreadsheet, rows 2 – 9.