Friday, June 14, 2013

Fresh From the Catskills: 5 Things to Look for This Week June 14

It's Here! The Pure Catskills Guide to Catskills Products arrives today. We're featuring images of members from a variety of value-added products, like wool fibers, fudge and caramel and sides of beef. Eight local producers, growers and artisans are featured within this 64-page directory of everything Fresh From the the Catskills. Featured regional businesses include Slickepott, Fieldstone Farm, Elderberry Herbs and Tabitha Gilmore Barnes Studio. Find your copy at hundreds of locations or contact Kristan for your mailed copy (607) 865-7090.

FARMERS' MARKETS: Curious where to pick up this week's farm fresh products? Pure Catskills teams up with the Watershed Post each week to highlight one of the area's hot markets. This week, check out Lexington Farms' Market on Route 42. Open monthly on the first Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. and the third Sunday from 10 a.m. to noon, you'll find a variety of Greene and Schoharie County Fresh from the Catskills products. Find out which local farmers and vendors will be on hand here. You can also visit the Pure Catskills running list of regional farmers' markets here.

WALTON REGIONAL LIVESTOCK SHOW: This free event is the season opener for youth showmanship. Swine, beef, goats and sheep (and their handlers) take the center ring this weekend, June 14 to 16, at the Delaware County Fairgrounds, Walton.

FOLLOW THE MILKY WAY: Catskills Family Creameries is opening their barn  doors on July 5 for a peak into what it takes to make butter, milk, gelato and cheese. Free and open to the public, bring the family, meet the animals, see the magic of transforming dairy into something else even yummier!

GET INSIDE A LENDER'S BRAIN: The Watershed Agricultural Council is offering two Financing Your Business workshops to improve your chances of qualifying painlessly for financing:
To register by phone, call Marilyn Wyman, CCE-Columbia/Greene Counties at (518) 622-9820. Each evening workshop costs $20 and includes dinner. For five good reasons to attend the workshop, read "The 5 C's of Obtaining Credit" on the Pure Catskills blog.

Tune in to WIOX-FM 91.3FM every other Friday at 7:15 a.m. for Watershed Wake-up Call to find out what's Fresh From the Catskills.

Monday, June 10, 2013

The 5 C's to Obtaining Credit

Guest blogger Josh VanBrakle is the Wood Products Utilization and Marketing Specialist at the Watershed Agricultural Council. Here, he shares with you five reasons why you need to get inside a lender's brain and the workshop solution. 

For small businesses, getting financing is a pain. There’s no escaping it, especially when you’re in a rural industry like farming or logging. Lenders see small businesses as risky, and farming and logging as riskier still. Add to that the general reluctance of banks to make loans following the Great Recession, and it’s a wonder anybody gets money to do anything.

But you’re an entrepreneur. You’re not going to let a bunch of bankers keep you from fulfilling your dreams. You’re going to get the money you need to start or expand your business. The only question is how.

Successful bids for financing start long before you enter a bank. As you prepare your loan application, put yourself in the lender’s shoes. Suppose they came to you looking for the same amount of money you’re requesting. What would you require from them? What interest rate would you charge? Would you lend them money at all? Why or why not?

When lenders ask these questions, they answer them using five categories – the “Five C’s” of credit. If you want financing, be prepared to address them all:

1.  Character – an examination of your managerial ability and credit score.
2.  Capital – lenders want to see a net worth - what you own minus what you owe - greater than 50% of total assets. Growth in net worth over time is also a plus.
3.  Capacity – historical gross and net income as well as future projections. This is where a business plan comes in handy; it makes the case that your projections are realistic.
4.  Collateral – an identified source of repayment if your income projections don’t work out.
5.  Conditions – if there are weaknesses in any of the first 4 C’s, lenders may impose conditions such as requiring a co-signer or additional collateral, among others.

More than any “C’s,” the most important thing to remember when seeking financing is that you’re building a relationship. At the least, you’ll be making payments, and ideally, you’ll be coming back for additional help as your business grows.

A great way to begin building that relationship is to meet lenders and learn what they want to see in applicants. The Watershed Agricultural Council is providing just such an opportunity in July – a pair of workshops called “Financing Your Business.” These workshops will feature regional lenders and provide forum time when you can ask questions and get feedback from other business owners.

The same workshop will be held twice, on consecutive days at different locations:
Small Business Finance Workshop, July 10 & 11July 10 from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at Sullivan County Soil and Water Conservation District office, 64 Ferndale-Loomis Road, Liberty 12754  REGISTER ONLINE HERE FOR LIBERTY

July 11 from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at  Brooks' House of B-B-Q, 5560 NYS Highway 7, Oneonta 13820  REGISTER ONLINE HERE FOR ONEONTA 

Use the links above or call Marilyn Wyman at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties at 518-622-9820. Each evening workshop costs $20 and includes dinner.