Matt Webb had high hopes of carrying on his family’s timber legacy. The business was started by Matt’s grandfather and had been passed down through three generations.
But when the 2008 credit crisis hit, Matt’s leadership was put to the test.
Greenville Timber Corporation's (GTC) long-standing relationship with a well-known lender was in jeopardy, despite the company's history of meeting its obligations. Without access to much-needed capital, GTC faced a major challenge.
As Matt assessed the company’s strategic options, conflicts arose with many whom the family had considered partners and friends. The meltdown on Wall Street was affecting working relationships that had been in good standing for years.
Despite their best efforts to prove Greenville Timber’s solvency and commitment to repay debts, the family was running short on the capital needed to reinforce the strength of their business.
During this challenging time, the Webb family learned of a little-known lending program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They soon began working with a banker in South Georgia to qualify for a loan.
As Matt researched the unique loan opportunity, he became excited about the prospect of this new partnership. Not only could the USDA loan provide the capital needed to maintain operations, but the loan also could be used to refinance and consolidate some of the company’s existing debt.
Securing a USDA business loan would help to remove financing concerns, which had led to distractions and uncertainty. The Webb family could finally put their focus back on their business.
“The USDA B&I Loan not only freed us up from having to deal with uncertain financing, [the loan] brought with it an air of excitement and creativity that reinvigorated the entire company. As a business owner, I could finally put my attention where it was needed most.
“Mr. Johnson (former President of North Avenue Capital) and the USDA simultaneously eliminated a burden and provided us with the resources needed to reinvent the company for the next generation.” ~Matt Webb
Shortly after closing the loan, Matt rebranded Greenville Timber and the new GTC was born…Genesis Timber Corporation.
Here’s what Matt had to say about the USDA loan process and the ultimate effect on his business:
“Nothing in business comes easy, and this USDA loan was no exception. But the time and effort proved well worth it. With renewed vision and feeling empowered financially, my family and I have started shoring up the company for the next generation, just as my father and his father had done before me.”
Congratulations Matt, and here’s to the success of GTC for generations to come.