Cedric Murphy, owner of Five Star Rebar, said he owes his business success to the First American Capital Corporation, Inc.
Murphy worked with the FACC to utilize the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Loan Mobilization Guaranty Program. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation created the program to help DBEs obtain working capital to participate in its projects. FACC began managing the program last year.
“Working with FACC was the best thing that happened to my business,” said Murphy, who began his Milwaukee business in February 2022. “I didn’t have to worry about paying my employees or paying for materials.”
After being certified as a DBE with the WisDOT, Murphy began to bid on DOT construction projects. When many small businesses receive the contracts, they face the hurdle of paying employees and purchasing supplies before receiving their first payment check, which can be received up to 45 days after work begins.
“You need a strong business to handle something like that. When you’re starting out, it is a lot harder to do,” he said.
Through the Loan Mobilization Guaranty Program, businesses receive guarantees of up to 90% of the loan amount. After the business begins getting paid, it pays back the loan while also paying for the continued project costs. The loan terms last six months and joint DOT paychecks will be issued to the lender and DBE until the loan is paid in full.
“Once you’re up and running on a job, you can get the loan paid off. I know I wouldn’t be in the position I am without the FACC,” Murphy said.