SBA 504 loan program brings sweet success to carwashing

SBA 504 loan program brings sweet success to carwashing

How this financing solution helped a small business owner reach his goals.

Sometimes becoming a successful carwash owner starts with something as simple as washing vehicles — and adding in a sweet idea like ice cream.

For Miguel Miranda, his path to carwash ownership started in September 2000 when he stopped by Speedway Car Wash in Yuma, Arizona, to wash his vehicle. While there, the owner of the carwash told Miranda he was looking for help managing the business, and he quickly committed. 

Miranda began managing two Speedway Car Wash properties in the area, and over the years his relationship with the owner grew so strong that he began leasing the carwash properties to Miranda. Over time, Miranda had the idea to open an ice cream shop in one of the locations, which became such a surprise success that it was bought from Miranda who opened his own location down the street. 

When the carwash owner asked Miranda to re-open a new ice cream shop on the properties, Miranda said he would on one condition — he wanted to buy the properties and run them as his own business.

SBA 504 loan program

Miranda’s dream of small business ownership was made possible by the SBA 504 loan program which allows business owners to buy commercial real estate with below-market fixed rate financing.

That’s when Miranda connected with a certified development company (CDC) in the area. Geoff McGivern, TMC Financing’s VP of business development, helped facilitate the loan he needed for both Speedway Car Wash properties and all the necessary equipment. This loan program is the ideal financing solution for small business owners like Miranda who want to switch from leasing property for their businesses to owning it outright.

Benefits of the SBA 504 program include:

  • Up to 90% financing (85% for carwash businesses), which allows business owners to preserve capital for day-to-day operations 
  • Fixed, below-market interest rates so that payments stay low over the course of the loan and won’t balloon over time
  • Longer terms, including the choice of 10, 20 or 25 years 
  • No additional collateral is required, beyond the subject property
  • Versatility of funds and no limit to project costs — this means all needs can be rolled into one loan and the financed amount can go toward the purchasing of land, buildings, equipment or improvements 
  • Ongoing support from a CDC who will help with paperwork, process and other issues throughout the lifetime of the loan.

“Geoff was very positive and supportive through the whole process,” Miranda says of his experience obtaining the SBA 504 financing. “He helped overcome every obstacle and I was able to purchase new equipment in addition to the land. Anyone who owns a business should absolutely investigate the SBA 504 loan option to purchase property.”

In Miranda’s case, the SBA 504 loan enabled him to purchase two parcels of land and over $45,000 in equipment upgrades. Miranda received about 80% financing to cover the $735,000 total project cost. His occupancy costs are now stable and fixed for the next 20 years. 

“A low down payment was essential for Miguel to purchase the property. The SBA 504 loan provided just what he needed,” McGivern says. “The loan will provide Miguel and his family the stability to operate both Speedway Car Wash locations at a fixed cost for decades.” 

“Even better,” McGivern adds, “Small business owners who take advantage of the SBA 504 program know that they also benefit from ongoing support from a certified development company (CDC) who will walk beside them throughout the life of the loan. So, there is always support if needed.”

The benefits of small business ownership 

Today, Miranda is proud to be the full owner of both Speedway Car Wash locations (ice cream shop included.) “I always had a passion for the business in hopes of one day owning it,” Miranda says. “With complete ownership of the business and the property, it feels different now. Now it’s personal and an investment for my family.”

For Miranda, ownership is also a way to give back to the community. “I feel like I have more ways of helping now, whether it’s giving advice to other business owners, donating to a non-profit or providing more jobs for people here in Yuma.” 

Making a difference

An SBA 504 loan is more obtainable than many people think. Many business owners who want to switch from leasing a property to full ownership will qualify for the program by just meeting minimal requirements and proving that they are an operating for-profit business.


TMC Financing is a leader in SBA 504 financing, with nearly 40 years of experience, TMC can help any business owner find the financing option that is ideally suited to them and help guide them through the 504 loan process from start to finish.

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