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Lighthouse Inn's new owner completes purchase with SBA 504 loan from First Merchants Bank and Indiana Statewide CDC
Entrepreneur Aurangzeb “Zeb” Qaimkhani purchased the Lighthouse Inn hotel just east of Frankfort.

Qaimkhani bought the hotel, including the land, building, equipment and furniture with a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration 504 loan program through First Merchants Bank and Indiana Statewide Certified Development Corporation. He took possession of the hotel May 5 and plans several upgrades to the property.

Indiana Statewide CDC works with local lenders to provide SBA 504 loans to owners of small businesses. SBA 504 loans can give small business owners long-term, fixed rate financing similar to commercial loan terms available for large companies.

“For both the long and short terms, the SBA 504 loan cuts down our operating costs which is very vital for small business,” Qaimkhani says.

William Boyd of First Merchants says, “The SBA 504 loan is an ideal way for our bank to assist Zeb and his partners in buying their first business. The 504 program finances part of the project, reducing the bank’s exposure; as a result, we help entrepreneurs create jobs.”

Background:

Indiana Statewide CDC has provided more than $463 million to 1,145 Indiana companies since 1983, creating or saving 28,000 jobs, and is the most prolific CDC in Indiana.

Since Congress created the 504 program, SBA 504 loans have funded over $67 billion to more than 135,000 small businesses in the U.S. In turn, those small firms have created or retained over 2.1 million jobs.

Indiana Statewide CDC Executive Director Jean Wojtowicz says, “SBA 504 loans help small businesses grow because borrowing companies can put as little as 10 percent down and receive a low, fixed interest rate for as long as 20 years. The SBA guarantees bonds sold privately to finance a portion of the loan. With the guarantee, we can offer loan rates more favorable than those of commercial financing.”

First Merchants Bank, founded in 1893, is part of First Merchants Corp., the largest financial services holding company based in Central Indiana. First Merchants Bank serves Adams, Brown, Delaware, Fayette, Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks, Henry, Jay, Johnson, Lake, Madison, Marion, Miami, Morgan, Porter, Randolph, Shelby, Union, Wabash, and Wayne counties in Indiana, Cook and DuPage counties in Illinois, and Butler and Franklin counties in Ohio.

Lighthouse Inn is located at 2050 East Wabash St. (U.S. 421 & Indiana SR 28) on the east side of Frankfort.

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