Glenn Snow: A Thread Capital Success Story
Glenn Snow was choking on debt.
The Charlotte area small business owner and military veteran had become financially overwhelmed due to a high-interest cash advance loan—and the future of the company he built from scratch was at risk.
“I refused to allow my business to go down in flames,” he says. “I just needed someone to look at the individual, at me, as opposed to my credit score.”
Thanks to a relationship with Thread Capital, Snow was able to pay off his loan, which had an annual interest rate of more than 250 percent, a staggering number for any entrepreneur. But getting to that point was a difficult journey, he recalls. “I was told ‘no’ so many times that it felt like I would never get to a point where anyone would say yes.”
After an injury during a deployment as a military contractor in Iraq, Snow came back home and eventually got into the restaurant business. The restaurant he bought in the early part of this decade was successful—but six months into his ownership, the building’s roof suddenly collapsed, effectively demolishing the business.
“We were out of $100,000 of our own investment,” he says. “I had to come up with a new plan of attack.”
Snow liquidated the restaurant’s equipment to pay his employees, filed Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, and pivoted to the commercial cleaning industry. The company he founded in 2013, Precise Commercial Cleaning, performs a wide range of services including carpet and upholstery cleaning, floor stripping and waxing, and pressure washing. But the drag of his restaurant expenses lingered.
The bankruptcy was particularly harmful as he tried to grow his cleaning business. “The bankruptcy and its impacts on my credit pretty much killed all of my lending options when my cleaning business got to a point to where we were growing and needed expansion capital,” he says.
“Unfortunately the only people that would lend us money to do the expansion and keep up with the invoices and the payroll were those predatory, high-APR cash advance lenders.”
Merchant cash advances are essentially short-term loans with unsustainable payment schedules and high annual percentage rates. While the loans are fast and easy to approve, they often leave small-business owners with unmanageable debt.
Feeling as if he had no other options, Snow took a cash-advance loan from a lender with a triple-digit interest rate. He was paying thousands of dollars a month to service his debt.
“You can imagine how that kills your bottom line,” he says. “It kind of got out of hand very, very quickly. It’s basically like an endless tunnel.”
Snow turned to traditional lenders and other financial institutions for help, but he was unsuccessful; his burden was too great. No one, it seemed, could help him—until a banker referred him to Thread Capital.
“He basically said if anyone could help me, it would be Thread Capital.”
Thread Capital’s small business loan program turned out to be exactly what Snow needed. “It was a 200 percent weight off my shoulders,” he says. He was able to pay off the high-interest cash advance loan and eliminate the drag on his cash flow. “To get that off of my plate and to ensure that we could still cover payroll, to still expand—it saved the business.”
Today, Precise Commercial Cleaning employs more than two dozen people and services clients throughout the Charlotte metro area. Snow is investing in marketing for the first time and is actively trying to grow the business.
“This business started with zero, just with myself. We’re now not afraid to go out and expand,” he says. “Without this debt hanging over us, our potential is endless.”
For more information about Thread Capital’s Small Business program, reach out to the team directly by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.