March 29, 2017

The Real Pros & Cons of Small Business Loans

Borrowing money is always a tricky situation, because it’s not something anyone is looking forward to, especially in the world of business. Unfortunately, for many small business owners, an SBA is necessary to keep the business afloat. Small businesses are considered the backbone of the American economy, employing more than two-thirds of the workforce over the last 15 years. Still, it’s small businesses that were most hit by the recession crisis in 2008, and it’s been a slow recovery process since. Over the past five years, 53 percent of small businesses have applied for funding; one in four of those businesses have applied more than once.

A small business loan can be a saving grace for your business, but only if the proper precautions are taken. Business owners seeking the best way to get a small business loan should understand the pros and cons before making a decision.  

Small Business Loan Pros [Read more…]

Global Alternative Funding Forum Set to Be Held November 11th in Los Angeles

Global Alternative Funding ForumThe 5th annual Global Alternative Funding Forum is set on November 11, 2016, from 8 AM to 6:30 PM at the Skirball Center, Los Angeles, CA 90049. This exclusive thought-leadership annual gathering with a think-tank theme is known worldwide for bringing together the world class financiers, the most prominent business leaders, private investors, government officials and other top experts and powerful authorities in the field of capital formation for young ventures and emerging growth companies.

Here, Victoria Silchenko, Global Alternative Funding Forum creator and producer, educator & leading alternative funding expert, founder of Metropole Capital Group, is sharing her observations. [Read more…]

Bellevue’s Outerwall to Be Acquired, Return to Private Ownership


Transaction Valued at Approximately $1.6 Billion
Outerwall Board of Directors Declares $0.60 Quarterly Dividend

Bellevue-based Outerwall Inc. has announced that it has entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger with affiliates of certain funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC, a global alternative investment manager, pursuant to which the Apollo Funds will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Outerwall common stock for $52.00 per share in cash.  No word was given as to whether the company will be relocated or jobs will be affected.

[Read more…]

Michelle Flandreau is New Vice President Of Marketing at GuidantFinancial

Bellevue’s Guidant Financial Names Michelle Flandreau VP Marketing

Bellevue-based small business financing specialist Guidant Financial has hired Michelle Flandreau as vice president of marketing. Based in Guidant‘s Bellevue headquarters,  Michelle Flandreau‘s hiring is in Guidant’s 12th year in business.  Guidant Financial’s state goal is to put $350 million to work for small business in 2015.  Reaching this goal will help empower entrepreneurs to help realize their dreams of business ownership. Michelle Flandreau will drive marketing and communications for Guidant and lead the strategic direction of the company.  She will also oversee earned and social media, email marketing and advertising and hopefully be working to renew a former partnership with Bellevue Business Journal.

For more than 15 years, Michelle Flandreau has developed and managed integrated, results-driven marketing campaigns. She joins the Guidant Financial team with a passion for customer service, entrepreneurship, and building a vibrant company culture.

Prior to Guidant, Michelle worked for top retail and consumer technology companies including Tommy Bahama, Expedia, and Nordstrom. Most recently, Michelle helped double sales and grow the marketing team at LiquidPlanner, a Seattle software startup.

“Michelle is an experienced strategist who excels in integrated marketing programs and brand management,” said David Nilssen, CEO and co-founder of Guidant Financial. “She’s joining us at an exciting time of company growth and will have a profound impact leading the strategic marketing direction of our brand.”

Flandreau is a graduate of Western Washington University.

About Guidant FinancialGuidant Financial works with entrepreneurs to identify, evaluate and deploy intelligent business financing strategies. Their services include, but are not limited to, rollovers as business startups (ROBS), SBA loans, unsecured credit and portfolio loans. Since 2003, Guidant has helped deploy more than $3 billion of capital into 10,000 small businesses and franchises.  Guidant Financial was a long time advertiser with Bellevue Business Journal when we still printed a newspaper – and before print was officially declared dead.

PicsArt Mobile Creative Image Community Raises $15M Led By Insight Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital

PicsArt Mobile Creative Image Community PicsArt Mobile Creative Image Community Scores $15 Million in New Funding

PicsArt mobile creative image community today announced $15M in new funding from Insight Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital. The new round follows a previous investment of $10M from Sequoia earlier this year. The new funding will enable the company to expand globally and develop new tools for users.

PicsArt mobile creative image community is for amateur and professional photographers, designers, artists and anyone who wants to use PicsArt’s extensive image creation and editing tools to beautify their world. PicsArt’s further enabled community collaboration with its latest feature update. Now #freetoedit images from PicsArt mobile creative image community can be shared on Facebook, inviting a new community to use PicsArt’s desktop-grade tools to edit their images.

Users can also share their creative process with others through automatically generated timelapse videos. Hit a button when you start working on an image and when you are done, share a video showcasing your technique so other users can learn from you. These are just the latest tools empowering PicsArt’s community of more than 65 million monthly active users that co-creates more than 250 million images per month.

“We want to continuously provide artists with the means to connect and collaborate,” said PicsArt CEO and founder, Hovhannes Avoyan. “With this round of funding, we can continue to do so with app updates that boost collaboration settings, such as video generation, increased sharing and the latest photo-enhancing tricks.”

“PicsArt’s rapid growth is a true testament to its unique creative platform,” said Jeff Horing, managing director at Insight Venture Partners. “We are pleased to partner with the PicsArt team as they continue to set themselves apart by solidifying a community of collaboration.”

Anyone with a smartphone can download the PicsArt Mobile Creative Image Community app from the App Store, Google Play, Amazon or Windows. To learn more, go to

About PicsArt
PicsArt Mobile Creative Image Community is the largest mobile community of creatives and creative images. The company’s U.S. office is based in San Francisco, California with a focus on enabling anyone to be creative, share, socialize, discover, learn and be inspired. The app has been installed over 230 million times and continues to expand and improve, so anyone can unleash their creativity and discover their inner artist.

About Insight Venture Partners
Insight Venture Partners is a global private equity and venture capital firm founded in 1995. They also invested heavily in Bellevue-based SmartSheet. They have raised more than $10 billion and invested in more than 200+ growth-stage software, internet, and data-services companies. Our Investment Team meets with thousands of companies each year, selecting a handful to invest in, supporting them with market insights and exposure to potential acquisitions and acquirers. Our Insight Onsite team provides hands-on resources and collaborative expertise to help companies scale.

About Sequoia Capital
The Sequoia team helps a small number of daring founders build legendary companies. We spur them to push the boundaries of what’s possible. In partnering with Sequoia, companies benefit from our unmatched community and the lessons we’ve learned over 40 years working with Steve Jobs, Larry Ellison, John Morgridge, Jerry Yang, Elon Musk, Larry Page, Jan Koum, Brian Chesky, Drew Houston, Adi Tatarko and Jack Dorsey, among many others. In aggregate, Sequoia-backed companies account for more than 20% of NASDAQ’s total value. We’re proud that their success also fuels great causes: since 2000 alone we have returned more than $10 billion to non-profits like the Ford Foundation, Mayo Clinic and MIT.

Free Download for BBJ Subscribers: “Understanding the Myths of Market Trends and Patterns”

Forex Trends  Understanding the Myths of Market Trends and PatternsFor a limited time, subscribers can now download the free ebook from Forex Trends called Understanding the Myths of Market Trends and Patterns.

Click on the link to download your copy of this extremely valuable information on how to actually make money in Forex trading.

For those of you unfamiliar with Forex, or uncertain what Forex is, here is the entry for Forex at Wikipedia:

Foreign exchange market

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

“Forex” redirects here. For the football club, see FC Forex Brașov. For the U.S. FBI sting operation, see Dominic Brooklier § Bompensiero murder.

Foreign exchange
Exchange rates



Historical agreements

See also

The foreign exchange market (forex, FX, or currency market) is a global decentralized market for the trading of currencies. In terms of volume of trading, it is by far the largest market in the world.[1] The main participants in this market are the larger international banks. Financial centres around the world function as anchors of trading between a wide range of multiple types of buyers and sellers around the clock, with the exception of weekends. The foreign exchange market determines the relative values of different currencies.[2]

The foreign exchange market works through financial institutions, and it operates on several levels. Behind the scenes banks turn to a smaller number of financial firms known as “dealers,” who are actively involved in large quantities of foreign exchange trading. Most foreign exchange dealers are banks, so this behind-the-scenes market is sometimes called the “interbank market”, although a few insurance companies and other kinds of financial firms are involved. Trades between foreign exchange dealers can be very large, involving hundreds of millions of dollars. Because of the sovereignty issue when involving two currencies, forex has little (if any) supervisory entity regulating its actions.

The foreign exchange market assists international trade and investments by enabling currency conversion. For example, it permits a business in the United States to import goods from the European Union member states, especially Eurozone members, and pay Euros, even though its income is in United States dollars. It also supports direct speculation and evaluation relative to the value of currencies, and the carry trade, speculation based on the interest rate differential between two currencies.[3]

In a typical foreign exchange transaction, a party purchases some quantity of one currency by paying with some quantity of another currency. The modern foreign exchange market began forming during the 1970s after three decades of government restrictions on foreign exchange transactions (the Bretton Woods system of monetary management established the rules for commercial and financial relations among the world’s major industrial states after World War II), when countries gradually switched to floating exchange rates from the previous exchange rate regime, which remained fixed as per the Bretton Woods system.

The foreign exchange market is unique because of the following characteristics:

  • its huge trading volume representing the largest asset class in the world leading to high liquidity;
  • its geographical dispersion;
  • its continuous operation: 24 hours a day except weekends, i.e., trading from 22:00 GMT on Sunday (Sydney) until 22:00 GMT Friday (New York);
  • the variety of factors that affect exchange rates;
  • the low margins of relative profit compared with other markets of fixed income; and
  • the use of leverage to enhance profit and loss margins and with respect to account size.

As such, it has been referred to as the market closest to the ideal of perfect competition, notwithstanding currency intervention by central banks.

VITEK Mortgage Group Expands into Washington

VITEK Mortgage BellevueVITEK Mortgage Group has announced their expansion into Washington. Their new team and office are located in Bellevue, WA at 10900 NE 8th Street Suite #110.  This new VITEK location will be the first of many to come in Washington, as they anticipate opening more offices in the near future.

The seasoned professionals of the new VITEK Bellevue team are aligned with our core principals of value, integrity, teamwork, excellence and knowledge.  Beyond their dedication to helping homebuyers achieve their dream of home ownership, they will be focused on truly serving the community.

VITEK President, Harry Duncan, says, “Our roots run deep in our love for Washington.  We spent a lot of time with family in the Seattle area while growing up.  Our mother was born, raised and graduated as a Huskey”.

We are excited for this time of growth and look forward to serving the Washington community.

About VITEK Mortgage Group

VITEK Mortgage Group has been in business for 27 years and is dedicated to opening doors to better lives.  They are licensed to originate loans throughout all of California and Washington and specialize in government, conventional, Jumbo, and down payment assistance home loans.  As a mortgage banker VITEK processes, underwrites and funds home loans in-house.  VITEK Mortgage Group is an Equal Housing Opportunity lender. NMLS # 37408 · Washington: Consumer Loan Company License # CL-37408. · California: Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act.

Mikayla Morgan Promoted to Marketing Integration Manager at LoanStar Home Lending

Mikayla Morgan LoanStar Home LendingMikayla Morgan was recently promoted to Marketing Integration Manager and Coordinator for the Marketing Department at LoanStar Home Lending.

“Mikayla has been with our core team since before LoanStar was founded and has a very intimate knowledge of how our marketing systems work best for our originators.  And now as a licensed originator herself, she brings even more experience to the team and will be a tremendous asset to new loan officers and branches that join LoanStar in the future,” said Kenn Bartley, SVP Marketing and Business Development. Mikayla has been with the company since November 12, 2013 and has held positions as Marketing Coordinator and Regional Marketing Manager.  She will continue to serve as a marketing concierge for LoanStar’s Bellevue, Vancouver, and the Walla Walla branches, supporting those loan officers with all of their marketing needs from on-boarding and beyond.

We are excited about this new position at LoanStar, the Marketing Integration Manager, will be responsible for coordinating and facilitating all marketing onboarding activities for new employees.  Kenn Bartley added, “LoanStar recognized the need for a robust onboarding process since we founded the company, and elevating Mikayla Morgan to the new position of Marketing Integration Manager is another sign of our commitment to make the transition to LoanStar seamless and smooth.”

Alan Thain Joins RPM Mortgage as Senior Loan Advisor

Alan Thain RPM Mortgage BellevueRPM Mortgage, Inc. is proud to welcome Alan Thain to its Bellevue office as a Senior Loan Advisor.

With more than 22 years of experience in the mortgage industry, Alan is committed to providing outstanding service and communication to his clients.  His extensive knowledge and passion for lending allow him to confidently and efficiently guide his clients through the loan process.

With access to RPM Mortgage, Inc.’s expert lending services and innovative mortgage solutions, Alan can offer his clients exceptional service and best-in-class home loan options. RPM’s “Can Do” attitude is a perfect match for Alan’s proactive approach to educating his clients and communicating with them throughout the loan process. Alan personally attends all of his closings to ensure his clients are well taken care of. Alan believes the success of his business is based upon building strong and successful relationships, and he takes great pride in helping his clients achieve their financial dreams.

Alan has been a 5-star Professional award winner for five years, and has over $400 million in career production.