Speaker: More banks are eager to make loans

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WESLEY CHAPEL, FLA. — Two Executive Forum speakers addressed the big-money issues of lending money from banks and the research and development tax credit.

Plastics companies can take advantage of low interest rates and banks more eager to make loans in the current financial environment, said George Muhoray, business development manager for the plastics and packaging group at EverBank Commercial Finance Inc. in Hampton, N.H.

“Gain an appreciation of the economic developments. What things are affecting [the banks] that are ultimately going to affect you?” he said during the Plastics News event in Wesley Chapel Feb. 23-26. “Armed with a strategy, armed with the information, take on the banker. Push him.”

The banking sector has changed. Muhoray said many small community banks have disappeared. Even so, big banks have lots of competition, from new sources of lending. And the big banks, now back on solid financial ground are loosening up credit terms. They have money to spend, he said.

“Every day we’re out there, we see lower rates and more flexible lending, Muhoray said.

One potential negative: Lower profits for banks could lead to higher-risk loan portfolios — the recipe that helped lead to the recession, he said.

“This is the time to challenge. This is the time to push them,” Muhoray said.

Michael Devereux II said many activities can fall under the federal R&D tax credit, including costs for prototyping and mold development and adjustments, new automation and specialized equipment and work cells.

“You guys are doing qualified research activities. It’s not just beakers and lab coats. It happens out on the plant floor, and it happens in the boardroom where you discussing ways you can go,” he said.

The credit covers qualified wages of people used for planning conferences, research, Production Part Approval Process (PPAP), quality improvements, shop floor experimentation and more, Devereux said.

Devereaux, an accountant, is director of manufacturing and distribution services at Mueller Prost PC in St. Louis.