This past spring, Dade City resident Jennifer Mulligan found herself at a crossroads like a lot of people because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“As terrible as the virus is, there was also a silver lining, because it allowed me to step back, reflect and set new goals for myself,” said Mulligan.
Although not yet 40 years old, Mulligan had a bucket list of things she wanted to accomplish. She had spent 20 years in a fast-track banking career, starting as a teller and rising to positions at J.P. Morgan Chase, PNC Bank, Bank of America and Synovus Bank, with responsibilities that included market president, mergers and acquisitions, and establishing a small business banking team.
And, while her career was skyrocketing in Tampa Bay and later Chicago, Mulligan also was a single mom raising a daughter.
“By the time COVID happened, my daughter was 20 and married, and I had just finished building a new home. So, I finally had time to do things I had dreamed about for several years — beginning with writing a book,” said Mulligan.
In less than six months, Mulligan wrote her book, “You’re The Best Investment,” hired a publisher and, on Nov. 19, hosted a book launch with four other women authors at the Tampa Club.
“I had overcome adversity, and accomplished much during my 20 years of banking, and wanted to share my story in the hopes it would inspire other women. I believed if I could do it, other women could, too,” she said.
The book begins with Mulligan becoming a mother at 17, and ends with the opening of her financial brokerage firm this past September. She chose her book’s title because from the day she started her first job, she believed nothing was more important to her future than investing in herself.
“I wanted to share the empowering skills I learned in cheerleading, in the corporate world, and as a mentor and coach – skills that helped make me successful in a very competitive, and primarily male, business world,” said Mulligan.
Launching Mulligan Financial
As Mulligan was writing her book, she also began developing the outline for a new business to help small businesses apply for and receive funding for growth and stability.
“I discovered there were many people with similar banking and financial backgrounds, who also were pivoting in their careers due to COVID,” said Mulligan. “Soon, I had seven experienced professionals wanting to join my team, and we opened with offices throughout Florida, including South Florida, Orlando and Tampa Bay.”
Operating as financial brokers, Mulligan and her team find funding for businesses who want to take on debt to buy equipment needed for expansion, support payroll during growth, buy/renovate commercial real estate (owner occupied or not), open a franchise and other opportunities. They also help businesses apply for SBA loans, including Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) applications.
“We shop the best terms for a business, and present the loan to traditional banks for conventional loans, SBAb501c and PPP loans, and also funding from private investors and equity funds,” said Mulligan.
Many business owners begin their search for financing with the bank that holds their operating and savings accounts. Often, however, their application is denied, explains Mulligan.
“It’s not unusual for a bank to turn down a small business loan — not because there is anything wrong with the applicant, but because the loan doesn’t fit with the business mix the bank is looking for,” said Mulligan. “And, after your bank turns you down, a business owner often loses confidence and doesn’t look elsewhere for funding.”
Mulligan continues that banks have appetites for different kinds of businesses, and often are unable to fund start-ups or conventional loans because of banking regulations.
“But, private investors don’t have the same restraints, and will often loan a business money after it is turned down by the company’s bank,” she said.
Mulligan Financial helps businesses in several categories, including medical practices, technology companies, franchises, manufacturing, commercial real estate, assisted living/managed care and homebuilders. The firm also works with businesses to consolidate or restructure their debt to lower interest rates.
The company typically works with loans beginning at $500,000, equally divided between new loans and loans being refinanced to take advantage of record low interest rates.
Mulligan is proud to be a recent nominee as an “Inspiring FinTech Female of 2020,” a national organization with 5,000-plus members that recognizes women who are transforming financial technology firms, and are advocates for women and gender equality.
If you are looking for financial services for your business, go to MulliganFinancialService.com, call Jennifer Mulligan at (813) 480-1210, or email .
Published November 25, 2020