Barriers to 'Gas-Station Loans'

Financial firm promises freer flow of cash, resources

CHICAGO -- A provider of working capital and commercial mortgage resources intends to open its doors to more financing for convenience stores in 2012.

Chicago-based Clopton Capital provides working capital, with a primary focus on commercial mortgages, SBA loans and niche financing mechanisms, such as gas-station loans and commercial bridge loans.

According to Clopton Capital, finding financing for a gas station has been considered by many in the commercial lending sector to be difficult, and thanks to new issues in the European debt market and growing liabilities in petroleum-related industries, it will be getting even harder.

“I can't think of one reason why acquiring a gas-station loan will get easier anytime soon, but I can think of many reasons that the gas-station industry is still a great business to enter,” said Jake Clopton, the founder of Clopton Capital.

The firm believes that gas stations won't become less compatible with America's energy policy over the next 10 years and that current gas-station owners should be expanding.

Clopton Capital intends to allocate additional SBA and commercial mortgage conduit resources toward the financing of gas stations in the coming year as part of its belief in this industries continued viability.

“We're quite literally putting our money where our mouth is,” said Matt Reed, an associate of Clopton Capital. “If we didn't believe that these loans were worth writing, we certainly wouldn't be marketing gas-station financing.”