Nationally Recognized Team Joins Truliant’s SBA Lending Program

June 10, 2024

Delaney Sexton
Contributing Editor

Nationally Recognized Team Joins Truliant’s SBA Lending Program

Truliant Federal Credit Union announced today a major expansion of its Small Business Administration lending program. Truliant is adding a nationally recognized team of business development officers.

The team is headed by Ray Drew, a top-producing SBA 7(a) lender who has extensive experience structuring SBA loans for small businesses. Drew has focused on bringing change and innovation to SBA lending. He uses content marketing and social media to grow his clientele. He is the host of a top SBA lending podcast show, The Art of SBA Lending on YouTube. In joining Truliant’s team, Drew brings 10 new SBA teammates to Truliant.

“Ray is one of the top SBA lenders in the country. He brings new strategies and a carefully curated team of standout SBA professionals from across the U.S. to Truliant,” says Don Jackson, vice president of SBA lending. “Our expanded team is focused on leveraging relationships, building new ones, and expanding on growth opportunities to rapidly scale our program.”

Truliant began a significant expansion of its SBA team earlier this year. Since the start of 2024, it has added 15 members to the team. The team now consists of an 11-person back-office team of portfolio managers, loan coordinators, underwriters, and closers. In addition, there are ten Business Development Officers.

Drew is a prominent figure in SBA lending, creating new weekly content for small business lenders “who eat, sleep, and breathe SBA loans,” according to show promotions. Drew hosts The Art of SBA Lending podcast and channel on YouTube. The channel is also home to The BDO Show, a podcast for SBA Business Development Officers seeking to hone their craft. Also hosted is SBA Today, which focuses on breaking news in the industry. The show hosts analysts, entrepreneurs, industry influencers, consultants, and specialists from around the U.S. who share in-depth knowledge of SBA loan programs, regulations, and best practices, while also sharing experiences, strategies, and insights for success.

“I’ve had the great fortune of being surrounded by some of the top talent in the SBA industry,” says Drew, who will serve as SBA Managing Director at Truliant. “I’m thrilled to get to work with them here at Truliant.”

Truliant’s SBA program closed about $46 million in loans last year. With the new team acquisition, Truliant anticipates that figure to more than double in 2024. Jackson says one growth area in 2024 will be Truliant’s small-loan program, focusing on loans in the $100,000 to $500,000 range. “These amounts meet a critical lending area for small business owners,” Jackson says.

“There’s a huge opportunity in the small-loan market. It’s a little easier for some businesses to get those loans. The SBA has an initiative to grow them,” says Jackson. “These loans make working capital more available by providing stability to small businesses. We are committed to simplifying these kinds of capital needs through a streamlined application process.”

Last year, nearly 70% of the SBA’s 7(a) national loan volume, more than 39,000 loans, were small-dollar loans of $350,000 or less, with the program originating more loans under $150,000 than in its previous three fiscal years.

Jackson also says that there is an opportunity in the acquisition market, especially among retiring business owners. New entrepreneurs have an opportunity to buy businesses from baby boomers who are retiring or want to exit their current businesses. In 2024, the U.S. is expected to see its biggest surge of Americans turning 65 years old, with 11,000 turning 65 each day.

“It’s a buyers’ market. A lot of businesses will be bought from seniors over the next few years. Baby boomers want to unlock the value that they’ve built into their businesses and grow their legacies. In order for these transactions to occur, buyers need access to capital,” Jackson says. “We expect a lot of growth. We’re equipped to handle it with a full team and great backend processes to support it.”

Since joining Truliant in 2020, Jackson has formed an origination team focusing on national production. The program has emphasized controlled growth to maintain quality service.