Nonprofit lender BrightBridge Capital helps small businesses, banks navigate world of federal loans

Photo contributed by BrightBridge Capital / Mike Ohlman and Mike Howard at the offices of BrightBridge Capital.

BrightBridge Capital is a nonprofit lender with a focus on making startup and small business loans that many banks won't consider. The organization isn't a lender for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, but it is in a strong position to help others find a path to those resources, and to help commercial lenders understand some of the nuances of dealing with nonprofit and other unconventional loan-seekers, says President and CEO Mike Ohlman.

Q: Before the world was upended, what was your primary focus?

A: BrightBridge is a nonbank lender. We partner with commercial lenders throughout Tennessee, North Alabama and Georgia to help them make loans to businesses that are credit-worthy but do not qualify under conventional underwriting.

We provide loans through the Small Business Administration and our own Small Business Loan Program.