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Business Profile: Local Broker Gets Creative

North American Resource Capital scores funding when others fail.

When local businesses are turned down by their bankers, they call Richard Cassiano.

His firm, North American Resource Capital on New Mill Road, specializes in finding creative funding for companies across Long Island. He's often a last-ditch effort for businesses that have been bumped by their banks and can't find funding on their own.

And that's OK, Cassiano said, because if he can't help them, no one can.

"I work with banking sources, institutional sources and private sources of funding, and I don't give up," he said. "Nine times out of 10, if I don't have a product for them, there's nothing available for them."

Cassiano said his success with creative financing comes from years of experience in the industry and a general knowledge of what banks and other funding sources are looking for.

"Businesses don't always give the right information," he said. "Or lots of times they just really went to the wrong place, like a national bank when they should be with a local bank."

Cassiano said he can immediately spot which companies fit with which funding sources and he can often succeed where businesses have failed simply by tweaking their approach.

To close the deal and get cash for clients, he's rewritten business plans and even helped business owners clean up their credit. He helped one client get a loan from an Arizona bank after the business was turned down, simply by reworking the application.

"He's as conscientious as anyone can be," said Gloria Glowacki, assistant director of Stony Brook University's Small Business Development Center, which Cassiano works with to help developing companies find funding. "He does anything to get the deal done," she said.

Cassiano offers Small Business Administration loans, lines of credit, private funding, equipment leases and even personal mortgages to his clients, which are generally small businesses with less than $3 million in annual sales, though he will go larger.

He started North American Resource Capital in 1995 with two colleagues, after about 15 years of working in the financial industry.

"At that point we had a lot of relationships with referrals," Cassiano said. "We basically left our old company on Friday and opened the new one on Monday."

The three men taught themselves how to broker SBA loans, lines of credit and other products in an effort to become a one-stop-shop for businesses looking for financing.

"We wanted to be full-service to the customer because being diversified is really helpful," Cassiano said, adding that the knowledge of various types of funding helps him steer customers toward products that complement them.

Since opening, North America Resource Capital has had a satellite office in New Jersey and a staff of about 7 sales people.

Today, the two colleagues are no longer with Cassiano, who operates the company himself.

The firm has found funding for Smithtown companies including Café Havanna Bar & Grill and both of which got their startup cash through Cassiano. He's also scored cash for Stafford Associates in Setauket, a chiropractic practice in Stony Brook and a dry cleaning business in Holtsville.

Cassiano said most of his business comes from referrals from bankers and others in the industry. In addition to Stony Brook's business center, he works with Farmingdale's Small Business Development Center as well.

"Traditional bank funding is a no-brainer, but then you have all the deals that don't quite make it," Glowacki said. "Rich has access to a lot of other opportunities."

Business is currently booming, Cassiano said, because big banks have recently been rejecting so many small business clients. July was one of the company's best months on record.

"Many of my clients from the larger banks have been declined because those banks have raised the criteria bar so high," Cassiano said. "But there are so many smaller and regional banks I can place them with that still have money to lend."

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