Helping Small Businesses Think Big: TMC Manufacturing Clients Partner With Tesla

Small business often has a symbiotic relationship with big business. One of the ways this can happen is when a small business supplies a big business with a service or a specialized line of products. Businesses of this type can often qualify for a Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loan for use when they want to expand their facilities or upgrade their equipment.

Mountain View, CA-based electric car manufacturer Tesla is a good case study of a big business that works with small suppliers. In Tesla’s Model S alone, there are 2,000 components manufactured by 300 outside suppliers, many of which are small businesses. The components Tesla buys range from mirrors, gaskets and hinges to seats and entire technical systems.

Tesla is currently working on a mass marketable electric car, and every move it makes in that direction has been subject to intensive analysis and commentary. Its suppliers are sharing the spotlight with it as the company struggles to get the kinks out of its supply chain. Is Tesla outsourcing too much or too little? Are they outsourcing the right things? These questions have been discussed from a dozen angles. In any case, there is plenty for Tesla’s suppliers to do, as the company has about half a million vehicles on preorder and more are coming in all the time.

TMC Financing Clients That Partner With Tesla

TMC Financing is proud to have worked with several metal manufacturing companies that supply parts to Tesla.

One TMC client, Igor Brovarny, who came to the United States from the Ukraine, purchased the Elite E/M company in Santa Clara in 2013 and has been part owner since 2008, after working as an employee of the company for five years. He has over 27 years’ experience in the industry and now oversees all aspects of the operation with the assistance of a skilled management team. Their customer base includes a variety of industries and approximately 150 customers (none of which exceeds 15% of sales), so their experience is broad and well versed. Besides Tesla, their large customers include Samsung and Agilent.

What You Can Do With a 504 Loan

Many small businesses got where they are today by utilizing the SBA’s 504 loan program and TMC Financing. The 504 loan can be used to grow your small business too. A 504 loan can be used for the purchase, construction or renovation of land or buildings, and the purchase of equipment with a service life of ten or more years.

The 504 loan is administered by a Certified Development Company (CDC) such as TMC Financing, and loans are granted in conjunction with a conventional lender that provides 50% or more of the total. Your CDC facilitates the SBA loan for up to 40%, or $5 million ($5.5 million for manufacturing projects or if the project includes energy-efficiency measures) at a fixed, below-market rate. You provide 10% of the project cost as a down payment.

  • 50% Conventional lender
  • 40% CDC
  • 10% Borrower

If the building acquired is a manufacturing building or if the project participates in the SBA’s Green Energy Program, it is eligible for a larger loan and the business owner can exceed traditional project limits.

To be eligible for the Green Energy Program, you must:

  • buy or construct a building that consumes 10% less energy than your current location
  • buy the building you now lease and make upgrades to consume 10% less energy
  • buy or construct a building that produces 10% of the energy it consumes or produces fuel to reduce fossil fuel consumption, using equipment financed through the loan

If you are interested in finding out more about the 504 loan program and growing your business so that it can offer services or products to big businesses like Tesla, one of the loan experts at TMC Financing would be happy to answer all of your questions and help guide you through the application process. Contact TMC today to get started.


Barbara Morrison, a local small business advocate and civic leader, founded her first company TMC Financing in 1981. TMC is a Certified Development Company that provides commercial real estate financing to small business owners via the SBA 504 Loan Program. TMC consistently ranks among the top certified development companies nationwide, and has funded projects worth more than $9 billion across California and Nevada. Nearly 5,000 small businesses have benefitted from this financing, resulting in the creation of an estimated 50,000 jobs. TMC is also the No.1 SBA 504 hotel lender in the United States. Barbara is also the founder of Working Solutions, a Bay Area microlender whose mission is to provide micro entrepreneurs, particularly low-income individuals, women and minorities, with the access to capital and resources they need to start a successful business.
Barbara Morrison