Show Me the Money
Located in Downtown Lansing, Access BIDCO may not be a household name, but it certainly is part of the tri-county area’s business growth and sustainability. For over 20 years, the company has been providing financial alternatives and assistance to small business endeavors, helping businesses to expand, restructure and grow.
Joe Reid, owner of Access BIDCO, believes that his company’s approach to creative financing has helped local business owners move forward with solutions-oriented financial assistance at a time when banks are less flexible with loan applications and not positioned to lend.
“BIDCO is a non-depository financial institution that is regulated by the State of Michigan banking commissioner,” Reid explains. “The concept of helping small business owners through nontraditional banking was actually started by state legislation in the ‘80s. We are a trusted and regulated financial solutions provider that has been building mid-Michigan business and industry for over two decades.”
Because Access BIDCO does not compete with banking institutions, the company is able to provide services and assistance that are tailored to a specific company’s need. For example, a solid business that has proven to be profitable in the past, and continues to show signs of prosperity but is finding it hard to maintain its relationship with a traditional bank due to more stringent lending requirements, may seek the services of Access BIDCO. Typically, Access BIDCO tailors themselves to clients who are seeking a second round of funding that will provide the necessary capital to grow the business.
“We are here to help the small business owner in ways that banks are generally unable to fulfill right now,” Reid shares. “Our goal is to assist them every step of the way, even providing financial management services or partnering to sit on their board of directors to help further their goals. We don’t just lend money; we lend experience and guidance as well.”
With over 10 years in the traditional banking industry, Reid sees Access BIDCO as an opportunity to keep building up business and supporting the companies in the Lansing area that have been providing key economic factors to keep area residents employed. As an area native and a Michigan State University graduate with an MBA and a law degree, he is very aware of his community and the challenges that the Greater Lansing area has faced.
“In this difficult economy, people need to know that there are alternatives,” Reid concludes. “Growth is imminent. But there has to be more flexible means in getting the financial assistance that one needs when they need it, and that is what Access BIDCO is doing.”
Capital Community Angels
If ever a time to call on angels, it might be now. With the economic woes that have headlined local and national media coverage for the Greater Lansing area and the state of Michigan, it’s comforting to know that there are investors and savvy, business-minded principals in the tri-county communities that believe in new ideas and that the capital city will regain its footing.
For Loïc Couraud, founder of Capital Community Angels, the belief is simple: The future of the Greater Lansing area and even the state will not rest on one community or one sector.
“I initiated the group because I could identify and see that good businesses were not getting off the ground and flourishing because of the funding gap,” Couraud explains. “I wanted to see those solid business ideas that would help with diversification see the light of day because they are necessary to the economy and growth of this area, and Michigan as a whole.”
Relying on his keen business sense, Couraud realized that the area had many potential investors who would want to see the same thing. With approximately 12 discrete members, all of whom are accredited investors as defined by the SEC, Capital Community Angels has been strategizing and making possible relevant sector growth that will prove to be not just successful, but also a sustaining employment market that diversifies the talents, education levels and university expertise available in the Greater Lansing area.
Specifically, Couraud and his groups of investors have been focusing on sustainable market sectors, like bioscience, alternative energy and homeland security. Currently, Capital Community Angels is supporting two bioscience projects that the group believes are ultimately building the mid-Michigan area with new business opportunity.
“It is not just about creating a job,” Couraud shares. “It is about building a significant employer for the area that will possibly create 100 to 200 highly skilled positions that will need the mastery of chemists, physicists and advanced degree professionals—and then another that is similar in its market, and so on. We want to build up additional sectors that are competitive. We have the resources right here in the area as Michigan State University is accessible, along with several other key universities.”With an MBA in finance from Columbia University, Couraud believes that this group of angel investors will help to rebuild business diversification, hoping that 20 years from now, the area will collectively see and benefit from the vision and the ideals of the Capital Community Angels.