There is a quote that I love about when you set out to build something big, it can be overwhelming and difficult to take the first step when looking at how big the task is. But if you just start by laying one brick, as perfectly as a brick can be laid, and keep doing that. Before you know it you have built something really big.
Over the past few years that this plan has been in the works there have been several missing pieces to the puzzle. The path was not exactly clear to how we were going to accomplish this dream, but we just kept going down the checklist of items towards the goal, laying each brick.
I am one of those optimistic people that thinks once you definitively decide on a dream, declare it, and start taking actions, the universe will conspire to help that dream come to be. In other words, the path will become clear as you proceed. And it has. Things have fallen into place and presented themselves serendipitously as things have unfolded to fill in the missing pieces.
So what does any of this have to do with the bank/financing portion of our dream and it taking forever?!
Not really anything, on this specific portion of the process.
But…we were not sure how we were going to fund our dream in the beginning. The financing portion and solutions to other obstacles came later in the process. The point is to START going after your dream! Declare it, research it, and start taking small steps – brick by brick, to make it happen.
The Economic Development Bank of Puerto Rico is a PR government bank. They have been a huge help over the years to small and medium sized businesses getting started in Puerto Rico. Our business plan was approved by them and then also a portion guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) which is federal government.
The combination of two government entities overseeing and participating in the financing of our dream has made the process lengthy and SLOW. We are very grateful that we have been able to secure financing for the start-up of our business. It has not been easy, as start-up ventures are a risky business for lenders.
After several attempts to communicate with our closing officer we were given a few “final” additional items needed for closing. Some of those additional requirements were; more bank statements, Puerto Rico government documents (Departamento de Hacienda), copies, proof of annual payment on insurance policies, and a lease Agreement signed for an office space where our business mailing address is. We quickly gathered all the requested documents and had them back to the closing agent in a few short hours.
Supposedly now the documents will be ready for a final review by the SBA to give the go-ahead on our closing with the Economic Development Bank of PR. The closing agent estimates a few day turn around for the SBA final review. If nothing is contested by the SBA we are able to coordinate a date ASAP for closing. The same day that we close with the bank, the remaining funds due on the vessel can be wired into the ESCROW account for the pending closing on the vessel. When we return from PR we should be able to quickly close on the vessel pending the completion of the repairs being done by the seller.
In the interim, the repairs on the vessel are still underway in St. Augustine. We are working hard on marketing materials, our website, and various other business related items. And we are researching and planning all the details regarding safety gear for our family aboard.