March 28, 2017

Commercial Lending Spotlight - Behavior Analysts of West Michigan

When working with children, growing pains are inevitable. Margie Hayward, owner and president of Behavior Analysts of West Michigan, knows this reality first hand. She and her team specialize in improving the quality of life for children with developmental disabilities including autism.

When Hayward founded Behavior Analysts of West Michigan in 2012, she carved out a space at AppleTree Learning Center in Walker, MI. But as her practice grew, space constraints made accepting new patients impractical. Growing pains indeed.

Hayward sought out larger facilities, but few were deemed practical. Her plans then pivoted toward building a dedicated office from scratch.

Hayward explains, “A family friend and realtor suggested purchasing a piece of property not far from our current location. The property size and location was ideal, so I began the process.”

That’s when Lake Michigan Credit Union’s commercial lending department entered the picture. Hayward said, “I was referred to Jim Maskell at LMCU, who quickly put me in touch with Nick Simatos. I was already quite familiar with LMCU, having been a personal banking member for over 30 years – back when it was still known as Grand Rapids Teachers Credit Union.”

Land located at 2787 Wilson Avenue NW was purchased with a LMCU-backed loan and quickly repaid within a year. The process is now moving forward with LMCU’s expertise in working with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and its 504 Loan Program to manage long term financing. The project broke ground in November, 2016 and is progressing according to plan.

Hayward glowed about how Nick Simatos and LMCU responded to her goals and needs. “Nick has been exceedingly helpful from the beginning. He was able to answer all my questions and explained in very concrete terms how the lending process worked. He also sensed when I was feeling overwhelmed and took the time to assist me in making good decisions I could feel comfortable with. Nick is looking out for my well-being and not just taking care of my banking needs. He has worked closely with me to make sure I was comfortable and not being forced into anything. I would highly, highly recommend Nick to anyone who has commercial banking needs.”

Growing pains are a natural part of any thriving business’ life cycle. But with the right tools, expertise and strategies, they become opportunities for development and expansion.


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