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Paragon’s banking on its new SBA-lending group


Charles Yorke

An experienced group of franchise lenders has brought their SBA lending platform to Paragon Bank, a regional bank that will now serve franchise borrowers nationwide.

“I liked Paragon because of their experienced bankers who understand small business lending and SBA lending,” said Charles Yorke, who is heading up the new addition to the bank, called Paragon Small Business Capital Group. “They’ve committed the resources to make it a significant piece of their business.

Yorke has brought a team of 16 individuals from Cornerstone Bank, where he led the SBA group there, one that also had a specific focus on franchise lending. The group collectively has 150 years of experience in small-business lending, and has worked with about 62 franchise brands.

“When franchisees talk with us, they are not dealing with the bank that just does one or two loans,” said Yorke. “I have closing, packaging and underwriting staff who can get the loan closed more quickly and efficiently than if they were dealing with their local bank that doesn’t do as many.”

In fact, Yorke says he hopes the Paragon Small Business Capital Group will close about $100 million in 2015. It sounds like they’ll get there.

“We already have $75 million in the pipeline,” said Yorke. “My team members, they’re good.”

The group is looking to work with franchisors who have about 100 units, that have a playbook, and “have established themselves,” he said. And he’ll never rule out a newer concept, reviewing those on a case-by-case basis.

“We are open for business,” he said. “We like franchise lending.”  For more information, contact Charles Yorke at 770-241-6251.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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