According to its website, the U.S. Small Business Administration “recognize(s) that small business is critical to our economic recovery and strength, to building America's future, and to helping the United States compete in today's global marketplace.” Ray Weamer, vice president of City National Bank couldn't agree more.
“It's helping small businesses, that's what I do. I started out in commercial real estate and that led me to financing commercial real estate, which includes a lot of SBA lending to owner/users who buy buildings for their businesses,” said Weamer, a San Diego State grad. “I have very, very strong relationships with the commercial real estate brokerage community and that's been part of my success.
“Over the years, it's very interesting to work with a lot of different types of businesses, a very wide breadth of businesses that make our economy grow,” said Weamer, who joined City National about a year ago after three years at J.P. Morgan Chase and eight years at California Bank & Trust.
“Last year, when I was with Chase, we had made a loan to a company [San Marcos-based M Bar C Construction] that is in the solar industry and I nominated them for Small Business of the Year in San Diego, which they won and they went on to win California Small Business of the Year, and that was very satisfying,” Weamer said. “They didn't win the national [award], but they did win California and, in my book, if you win California, that's pretty much winning the national. We're the big gorilla when it comes to SBA lending in the country.”
Weamer said many major well-known companies got their starts as small businesses financed by the SBA.
“What's interesting most lately in that regard [getting SBA loans] is the brewing industry. I've helped a couple of well-known local brewers that were growing very rapidly. One financed equipment and a building and the other one had a large equipment loan,” Weamer said.
Weamer said City National Bank is ideally suited to help local small businesses.
“Basically, our bank is committed to the principles that are related to people: relationships, integrity our dedication and [being] entrepreneurial,” Weamer said. “So, all spelled out, that's pride. We're a premier private bank and a business bank and we provide [clients] and their families with complete financial solutions. That's what we do and we do it well.”
Weamer, who arrived in San Diego as a child in 1960, remembers when livestock roamed Mission Valley.
“I've enjoyed seeing the city really grow over those years, from a little Navy town to being this big binational financial city,” Weamer said. “It's grown quite a bit. I'm very proud of the city.”
And, by helping a wide variety of small businesses get SBA loans, Ray Weamer has been part of that growth.
“It's a fun thing. I really, really get a lot of pride out of helping small businesses grow in San Diego,” Weamer said. “It's amazing to see the different types of businesses that make up the fabric of our business community here. It's really mind boggling.”
-Lovitt is a La Jolla-based freelance writer.