The way O. David Dickson had it figured, his five-vehicle ambulance company needed a new headquarters station in Warrenton, Oregon, if he was going to cover his corner of the state properly. So when the right facility hit the market in late 1996, Dickson jumped at the opportunity to buy it. Not only did the available facility offer space for a sixth ambulance and crew, but it also had ample room for a dispatch center and training facility.
There was just one hitch: money. The price of the facility was $200,000, and when Dickson put everything he had on the line, his bank would only lend him $140,000. "If I couldn't get the other $60,000, I'd lose the deal," Dickson, 53, recalls. "There were two other buyers behind me."
Dickson got his windfall from a little-known lending source, the Capital Access Program (CAP), now operating in 20 states. By taking advantage of Oregon's CAP, Dickson was able to coax another $60,000 out of the Bank of Astoria and, with his war chest assembled, completed the deal. Today, Medix Ambulance Service Inc.'s six ambulances operate round-the-clock to cover emergencies in Clatsop County.
David R. Evanson's newest book about raising capital is called Where to Go When the Bank Says No: Alternatives for Financing Your Business(Bloomberg Press). Call (800) 233-4830 for ordering information. Art Beroff, a principal of Beroff Associates in Howard Beach, New York, helps companies raise capital and go public.