From the February 2007 issue of Entrepreneur

How about some financial support with your overnight mail? If you're looking for a loan, consider an unexpected source.

UPS Capital, the banking arm created by shipping giant UPS in 1998, is now one of the country's leading SBA lenders, lending a whopping $153 million in 248 transactions between October 1, 2004 and September 30, 2005.

For Jim Eddy, co-founder and CFO of Lansing, Michigan-based Tropic Ice, which manufactures "clear tube" ice cubes for convenience stores, grocery stores and restaurants, the news that his shipping company was in the loan business came as a happy surprise. After being turned down by two banks, his company received a $1.3 million loan last May from UPS Capital to purchase new equipment and open a second facility.

"We hadn't been around long enough to have an established track record," says Eddy, 51, whose firm had been in business four years at the time. "But neither were we new enough to be treated as a startup."

As a preferred SBA lender, UPS Capital does its own due diligence on applicants--a factor that Eddy believes smooths the process for business owners. "They took a closer look at the company's operations and were able to see past some of the problems other lenders had with us," says Eddy, whose company projects sales of $3.5 million for 2007. "They came back to us and we worked our way through those hindrances together."

Jennifer Pellet is a freelance writer specializing in business and finance.