First Financial: Empowering Entrepreneurs Through Franchise Funding

First Financial Franchise Funding

SBA Lending Experts Dan Pace and Cindy Watson Discuss Funding Options for Small Business

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Franchise funding can be overwhelming for first-time franchise investors. With so many funding options for small businesses, how do you make the right choice? It’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition, says Dan Pace and Cindy Watson, co-founders of First Financial, a lender that provides flexible and creative financing for aspiring small business owners.

The husband-and-wife team is extremely passionate about their role in their clients’ journeys into business ownership. Together, they have helped thousands of entrepreneurs obtain the funding needed to become business owners. They love empowering entrepreneurs to reach their dreams of financial freedom. Here’s what they have to say about it.

First Financial Franchise Funding, Dan Pace and Cidy Watson
Cindy Watson and Dan Pace

How Does First Financial Help People Achieve Financial Independence?

First Financial plays a significant role in helping people achieve financial independence by providing a range of services and resources that promote financial well-being. First Financial assists individuals in their pursuit of entrepreneurship through SBA-backed loans, leasing large vehicles and equipment. We will even provide credit assistance if the client is not qualified at the time. Most importantly, we assist individuals with the financial literacy to secure the funding of their dreams and we educate them on how to show profitability to keep growing and growing.

First Financial Franchise Funding

How Does it Feel to Help Others Gain Control of Their Futures Through Franchising? What Does it Mean to You?

Franchising offers a unique opportunity for individuals to become entrepreneurs and take control of their professional lives. For 26 years, First Financial has been there to help those ready to control their destiny. First Financial works on helping them procure financing for the franchise. It is a wonderful feeling to know you were part of a team that allows someone to achieve their dream.

What are Some Little-Known Facts about Franchise Funding?

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers loan programs specifically designed to assist franchisees. These programs can provide favorable terms, longer repayment periods, and lower down payments, making it easier for franchisees to secure funding.

Please Share Due Diligence Tips for Franchise Seekers Concerning Funding.

The SBA should always be disclosed as an option to clients. Do not let anyone run your credit until you are moving forward with a franchise. Borrow the max that you can. There is no pre-payment penalty with the SBA. You can never have enough working capital. Get a pre-approval with the SBA before you look at a franchise so you know you can afford it.

What Makes First Financial a Great Funding Option for Small Business?

Our expertise and knowledge of the SBA is unprecedented. After 26 years of experience and relationships, no one knows the ever-changing SBA compliance like First Financial. Renowned in the industry for SBA, First Financial brings in NAGGL (National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders) speakers to meet with our staff to keep us informed on standard operating procedure sand any and all changes. Most importantly, the client is never alone during the entire loan process. Our loan specialists stay involved in the process until the loan funds.

What are Some Common Misconceptions about Small Business Loans?

No. 1 is that they take forever to close. With First Financial, the SBA Express product of $150,000 usually closes within 30 days— some as quickly as two weeks. It is dependent on how fast the client gets the paperwork and licensing complete. Very rarely are we waiting on the bank. Our larger Dream Loan closes in 30 days from the time they secure a location for said business. Also, people think you can only get one SBA loan — not correct. In many cases you can get an additional loan when your business is ready for that next step.

Please Share a Favorite Success Story.

After 26 years, there are so many to choose from. Our greatest success has been developing longtime friendships with our clients. A very unique story we are proud of is that we funded a start-up Budget Blinds franchise, and then several years later we funded the buyer who acquired that same Budget Blinds for over a $1 million!

About First Financial

First Financial works with individuals looking to break free from the corporate world and engage in first-time business ownership. They help aspiring franchisees navigate funding options for small businesses. The company takes pride in its SBA expertise and ability to make its clients’ dreams a reality. Here are some fast facts about First Financial.

  • Established in 1997
  • Nationwide operations
  • Small business and SBA expertise
  • Express loans with 30-business-day turnaround
  • Special loans for active military and veterans (M5)
  • SBA loans up to $5 million
  • Specialties include SBA loans, M5 (military) loans, commercial real estate loans, equipment leasing, 401(k) rollover options and flexible small business loans

For more information about First Financial, visit

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