September 26, 2013

New lender to support small firms

Bill Whitmore, who has operated fitness centers, will offer financing and other business services.

By J. Craig Anderson
Staff Writer

A local businessman has launched a new lending institution focused on providing commercial financing to the region's entrepreneurs and small-business owners.

Bill Whitmore, who has bought, operated and sold several Planet Fitness franchises in Maine, said in a news release that his latest venture, Portland-based Gold Beacon Capital, is the outgrowth of that experience.

"The economy of northern New England in general, and Maine specifically, is driven by small business," said Whitmore, who also owns a World Gym fitness center in Portland. "As a once-fledgling business owner, I faced the same hurdles that others have in finding the financing to support the opening and growth of my own business."

Difficulty acquiring the necessary financing for working capital or expansion is a frustration faced by many small-business owners and can curtail job growth in the region, he said.

"We have to get capital to smaller enterprises in order to create the jobs that underpin the life of our communities," Whitmore said.

The company also will provide advice on operating and expanding a business as part of its services, he said.

Companies ranging from startups to those with $10 million in annual sales are Gold Beacon's target market.

The firm will specialize in commercial finance with a focus on working capital and provide a variety of alternative lending solutions, including equipment leasing, sale leasebacks, accounts-receivable financing, factoring, franchise lending, business acquisition financing, U.S. Small Business Administration financing and commercial real estate loans, Whitmore said.

"I understand how much owners put into their companies both emotionally and financially, and I want to work with owners to help solve the issues they face every day," he said. "If you are looking for capital or financing for your business, you should know that you have options. Banks are now not the only game in town."

The company's website is

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

Twitter: @jcraiganderson


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