Thanks for dropping in for some hopefully great business info and on occasion some hopefully not too sarcastic comments on the state of Business Financing in Canada and what we are doing about it !

In 2004 I founded 7 PARK AVENUE FINANCIAL. At that time I had spent all my working life, at that time - Over 30 years in Commercial credit and lending and Canadian business financing. I believe the commercial lending landscape has drastically changed in Canada. I believe a void exists for business owners and finance managers for companies, large and small who want service, creativity, and alternatives.

Every day we strive to consistently deliver business financing that you feel meets the needs of your business. If you believe as we do that financing solutions and alternatives exist for your firm we want to talk to you. Our purpose is simple: we want to deliver the best business finance solutions for your company.

Monday, December 28, 2009

What didn't happen !

Great article on BNET .COM regarding some predictions, mostly financials, that were supposed to happen as we headed into 2009. I have listed those at the bottom of this posting . I guess the take away lesson is that many predictions seem to be , in hindsight , almost a fear mongering tactic and we must surely wonder who is predicting these things, and, most importantly, why!!

  • Prediction: “Steve Jobs relinquishes the CEO title and remains as Chairman.” (via TheStreet.com) Reality check: Not only does Jobs remain as Apple’s CEO, he is the planet’s best, according to Harvard Business Review
  • Prediction: “Chaos ensues in February [of 2009] when U.S. broadcasters cease analog TV signals.” (via BusinessWeek) Reality check:The switch to digital TV was delayed a few months but the transition caused no chaos for the entertainment industry or consumers
  • Prediction: “Malls, as we know it, will be dead and most will turn into outlet mall like structures.” (via The Budget Fashionista blog) Reality check: 166 malls went into bankruptcy when General Growth Properties went down last year but the mall still reigns supreme
  • Prediction: “[M]illions of newly (and not so newly) unemployed will be scrambling to start their own businesses.” (via the Wall Street Journal) Reality check: There were plenty of prognosticators picking entrepreneurship as 2009’s hot trend but it’s too soon to tell whether more Americans decided to start their own companies last year; I’m going to predict that the well-publicized lack of small business loans, combined with extended unemployment benefits, probably dissuaded quite a few from taking the plunge
  • Prediction: Problems stemming from the economic crisis “will lead to increased crime and civil unrest with protests in the streets, bank runs and an increased police and military presence trying to bring stability to cities” (via Seeking Alpha) Reality check: Violent crimes, burglaries and property crimes all dropped in the first half of 2009, according to FBI figures released on December 21

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


The Globe and Mail today had an article on ' NUGGETS FROM MY STASH OF FINANCE BOOKS ' - It was a great article by a John Heinzl of the Globe highlighting some of his favourite financial books . He noted that the books are for both experienced and non-experienced investors . I must confess to not knowing any of these books, but recognized two of them by their authors .

One of my favourite books of all time is a true Wall Street Masterpiece . It is called ' REMINISCENCES OF A STOCK OPERATOR ' and covers the true story of Jesse Livermore, one of the first speculators on Wall Street . Its an incredible story of how Livermore played on investor psychology and created massive pump and dump scams. Many feel he was the cause of the '29 market crash . Its an incredible and humorouos and well written story . The author is Edwin Lefevre .

Interestingly I read this book in the 1980's and then lived through DOT COM era when I was at HP for ten years in the 1990's. In hindsight I had been pre-warned, but neglected the signs!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


There was a great article in FORBES ON-LINE today about how many people detest the business speak jargon that is widely in use in the corporate environment . I worked for large companies for 30 years and can certainly vouch as being an offender . Only when you're on the outside do you realize the uselessness of some of these terms :

Lets cover of some of the most over used ones and let the guilty recognize themselves as appropriate :

touch base
circle the wagons
get everyone on the same page
full service
over the wall
take it to the next level
tee it up
circle back

The article sums it up nicely by saying that people use these words in the corporate environment to sound important but they don't make any sense and just hide inadeqacies.

FINALLY - If you understand the attached call me on my direct line anytime 416 319 5769 to explain!

' At the meeting we can touch base, circle the wagons, and get everyone on the same page - that way we wont ignore the low hanging fruit and the intellectual needle wont move anywhere. However that limites our bandwidth and the troops want to drink from the high level fire hose . We dont want game changing paradigm shifters, instead lets take it to the next level.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


The Globe and Mail front page Report on business today indicated the Ontario govt will reduce debt by proposing to sell the assets of LCBO, ONTARIO POWER, HYDRO ONE, and THE ONTARIO LOTTERY CORP .

In general most entrepreneurs like myself are in favor of privatization . If you have every walked through a Hydro head office ( I have ) you can sense there's room for improvement in those thousands of cubicles .

Given that the gov't has generated a 24 Billion ( yes that's billion ) dollar deficit it would seem at first glance that number could be reduced greatly by the asset sale .

I only have two problems with that -

1. If the government uses the funds as wisely as they did for the E-Health debacle we are in trouble
2. Will I still be able to get a decent wine selection at the LCBO as my tastes are moving upscale - and if you have ever been to a privately owned liquor store ( I have ) you know its about fast moving low priced inventory

Monday, December 14, 2009


Clearly the biggest story in Canadian Telecom last week was the CRTC's decision to reverse their previous ruling and allow Globablive to do business in Canada, not withstanding their foreign ownership structure .

Like most business cell phone users I look for quality service and price . From my perspective it has been very difficult for most Canadian business ( and retail !) consumers to understand the wireless pricing and service landscape . I will check out Globalive and hopefully get a sense of the offering . As in all business ( good competion ) is welcome . May the best man win.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Purchased by a bank .. Oh no .. now what

The National Post reported today that Canadian Western Bank has purchased National Leasing for a deal value of 130 Million dollars . By all accounts National seemed to be one of the best run and most successful leasing companies in Canada . Historically when Canadian banks have purchased independent lease and finance Co's things have not gone ... well you know what I mean . Our firm , www.7parkavenuefinancial.com focuses on medium and larger sized lease transactions, but there is a huge need in the small ticket marker for Canadian firms .
Let's hope for the best !


Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I am often asked by customers if there are grants and loans available for their businesses . On many occasions these firms are in the start up phase and are pre-revenue.

There is a general belief that there is ' free money ' out there , and people are trying to find it ! I categorically can state there is no free money available , but we can come pretty close !

There are some excellent programs, two in particular, that are , in our opinion, best government programs for firms in Canada .

The Canadian government has allocated hundreds of millions of dollars into what is known as the CSBF loan program - The acronym stands for the CANADIAN SMALL BUSINESS FINANCING program . The government provides a lot of data at its website on the history and operation of the program and its parameters . Some business owners might find the wealth of information overwhelming .

For the purposes of this article we will share that the prOgram is available to all new or established businesses with revenues or projected revenues under 5 Million dollars.

Most people that are familiar with the program might not know that in the current 2009 world economic crisis that the goverment increased the amount of these loans to $350,000 and $500,000.00 in some circumstances.

How can you qualify for this program ? Most importantly , do you qualify ?

In general if you are a Canadian private company ( Public companies are excluded from the program ) you are eligible for the program , Only certain classes of assets can be financed .

The true power of the program is that the rates are currently in the 5% range, they are mandated under the program to be only 3% over prime . Terms of repayment are 5-10 years, and most importantly to company princiapals , a full personal guarantee of payment is not required .

Typically these programs are used by companies to acquire assets, improve their business, purchase or develop software, and even in some cases buy real estate .

Do Canadian business owners know that the government can assist them in purchasing business real esate , without unlimited guarantee, and at great rates ? We dont think so !

If businesses feel they are adequately prepared to source out the financing available under this program we strongly recommend that they begin that process. Not everyone has the time, financial skills, and the ability or comfort level to begin this journey . Those firms should seek out an experienced and trusted advisor in order to maximize their particpation in the program .

Lets get back to free money . Does it exist ? Again, not really, but would you as a business owner like to receive a chq from the govt, that is not repayable! regarding any process, research, or innovation you have developed .If so you want to maximize participation in the governments SR ED program . We will talk about this programme more in an upcoming article .


Todays Globe and Mail had a front page story on ABCP . ABCP is of course Asset Backed Commercial Paper . The article centered around COVENTREE CAPITAL, who were apparently a major player in the market .

The company is accused of making misleading statements , according to the Globe, to investors who bought these securities . When the ABCP market froze a domino effect happend in the Canadian commerical paper market . I vividly recall meeting with Coventree in the 2004-2005 timeframe and asking them to securitze a transaction which for 20 Million dollars, which I ultimately completed with other parties . The demise of Coventree during last years debt crisis still has an affect on my firm today, as many of our lending partners rely on this type of financing to provide liquidty to the market . Ultimately key players disappeared , rates rose, and credit quality became ' job one '

Monday, December 7, 2009


Very interesting article on Subprime today in the Globe and MAIL - See REPORT ON BUSINESS, GLOBE AND MAIL, PAGE 1 - ' LENDERS WANT OTTAWA TO BACK 1 BILLION FUND '

We have all read and heard that Canada for the most part escaped the sub-prime meltdown in the U.S. that appears to have led in large part to the Global financial crisis . Canada does have some sub-prime lenders who for the most part appear to be very well mangaged, two names that come to mind are HOME TRUST and XCEED mtge . The story in the Globe today revolved around a single mothers attempts to save her house, as well as comments from industry players around how these types of mortgages are handled and financed and originated .

The thrust of the article is that lenders want Ottawa to back these type of facilities with a govt sponsored fund, one assumes less people would lose their homes . I continually blog about how the govt should consider backing similar funds for small business financing access . Lets keep the faith .


Thursday, December 3, 2009


I read with amazement yesterday in the Post and Globe that the Govt and BDC had completed the first deal, 300m, under the CSCF as referenced in our title post .

While I applaud the deal Imust say that this is the ultimate 'too little, too late ' - To have completed only one transaction , and that one being to finance the captive arm of a foreign farm and construction company is surely a slap in the face for the thousands of small and medium firms who are hanging in through the current Canadian credit crunch .

At 7 Park Avenue Financial we continue to work hard everyday focusing on financing solutions for the little guy ( we finance the big guy also ) but we sure could you some help from Ottawa and Queens Park.