Our campy little convenience store is in a bit of a pickle. We could really use your help so we can keep our store and so our family can keep our home.
After six years of flawless repayment against the term loan that served as our mortgage our financier has used thier perogative to decline to renew the term loan this year. They say we were paying down the loan too agressively, and that doing so created too poor a cash flow for operations, making us a high risk client. Bottom line: we have to pay the entire balance owing or lose our home and business.
We have tried seeking alternative financing but difficulties include a demand letter issued on the loan (essentially black-flagging our company for other commercial lenders) and the presence of the gas pumps on our lot. The pumps are owned by a seperate company who leases the space for them and heavily insures them with us named as insured. We have no liability for any problems they might cause but lenders are still gun-shy for lending because of them.
Environmental testing has been done, phase one and two, and we have a clean bill of health for the property. We've done our best to comply with every manner of Health Board and TSSA testing and regulations, as expensive and stringent as they are, to provide our customers (and our family) the safest and most comprehensive service possible. However, it seems to be not enough from the perspective of commercial lenders.
My parents invested thier retirement savings, and then some, into this venture. Shortly before the closing date on the purchase of this property the bank revised thier loan offer downward, requiring a higher downpayment. My parents had to tap high interest sources to cover the difference. It actually got them into financial hot water early on; we understood in the first year of our term loan/ mortgage that investors (us) were not allowed to take repayment against our investment. What we didn't understand was that the stipulation would be renewed each year with the renewal of the term loan. So, even after the first year they could not get back any of the money they'd invested from the business (the bank held first dibs) and struggled to pay down the extra debts. They worked very hard and have JUST finished settling the last of them.
It is acurate to say we've made mistakes and had some hard (and expensive) lessons learned while figuring out how to operate our business. Curve balls and surprises seem to be par for the course here, but we've managed to eventually, if clumsily, deal with each because this place matters to us a lot. It is worth all the stress and tears and sleepless nights it has caused from time to time. It is our home, and our livelyhood, and our customers are cherished neighbors. The money invested is certainly important, but it's value is far more than just money to us. However, it is for money that we are on the verge of losing it.
Please, if you have any to spare to help us out we would greatly appreciate it. Investors would be preferred over handouts, but at this point we would be greatful for ANY help you can offer. If you are in the area, come by for an ice cream. Come by often =) We will be happy to scoop for you.
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