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Feature Article: Team work makes the dream work


For over a decade TASI ® Bank has worked with TMC Financing, an Oakland-based Community Development Corporation (CDC), to provide financing for clients primarily with SBA 504 loans. During that time, TASI Bank has originated more than two dozen transactions valued at nearly $40 million.

How is it that a medium-sized financial institution, as TASI Bank is, has developed such a deep and mutually beneficial relationship with TMC, which in 2021 was the SBA’s No. 1 ranked SBA 504 lender?

“First of all,” says Kurt Chambliss, TMC’s executive vice president for business development, “TASI will do projects that other banks won’t undertake. As a CDC, we are in the business of building local economies and supporting small businesses…” as they seek to grow.

“TASI Bank has carved out a niche and applied its expertise to industries that many banks aren’t interested in,” he said. Whether by choice or simply not being interested, larger banks find it “difficult” to participate in some industries.

Not so with TASI Bank.

Adds Viral Shah, TASI Bank vice president/credit administration, “Recently, TMC helped us place two bridge loans in the secondary market. It also has been instrumental in construction financing as well and next quarter they will be placing the bridge loan for sale in the secondary market enabling our capital to go further and making more loans to small businesses that are the backbone of our community.”

Founded in 1981, TMC Financing is one of more than 200 CDCs in the country. “All of our rates are mandated, so one of our tasks is to find banks who have a mutual interest and are passionate about small businesses. I’ve recently been working with a large bank that I know will not undertake the transaction that is on the table because of its internal guidelines.” TASI is different in that regard.

TASI Bank, he says, has “fair rates and will undertake tough deals.” Among recent transactions with TASI Bank are a gas station, a brewery, two hotels, and a restaurant. While most often, banks go to TMC with a potential transaction, Chambliss says there are times when he will refer a potential customer to TASI. “The approach that TASI takes is not formulaic.” He adds that he knows from experience that some banks simply won’t undertake the work to qualify a business for a 504 loan. “TASI is more creative and more willing to work with clients who need additional support.”