INNOVATORS VS COVID 19
Financing the Big Guy…and the Little Guy
We talked to Stan Prokop of 7 Park Avenue Financial about cash flow and debt financing solutions and COVID-19.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Stan Prokop: We are doing well, all things considered. Like everyone else, our lives have changed immensely as we gravitated to staying at home and working our way through various government restrictions on travel, shopping, etc. As an aside, we probably would not have moved to online grocery shopping as early as we did, pre-COVID, but have found it a useful and handy experience. Our daughter had a baby during COVID, and several family members have lost employment, which has been challenging.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded 7 Park Avenue Financial.
Stan Prokop: I worked in corporate finance all my life, including 20 years with HEWLETT PACKARD and its predecessor firms. In 2004, I founded my own business finance firm, 7 PARK AVENUE FINANCIAL. We originated business financing for corporations of all sizes and in all industries. We focus on cash flow and debt financing solutions.
How does 7 Park Avenue Financial innovate?
Stan Prokop: Our solutions are custom-tailored to a company’s unique financing needs. We work with start-ups and firms who have revenues in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Stan Prokop: Suffice to say that COVID 19 has limited our personal engagement with clients, which is preferred when it comes to discussing financing needs that have a certain level of confidentiality and trust attached to them. We have done some ‘ ZOOM’ meetings, but most financings are accomplished via phone meetings with clients and underwriters.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Stan Prokop: Being a small firm, relatively speaking, we can only take on a limited number of engagements and have re-emphasized our online marketing activities through a website and blog, which generate a significant amount of business.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Stan Prokop: On a personal level, I work out daily at a gym when COVID restrictions permit and focus on reading and music – being an amateur musician.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Stan Prokop: We compete with major banks and insurance companies and don’t have the marketing and sales force budgets – however, our focus on experience/reputation in the industry and personal service allows us to compete effectively with banks and larger commercial finance firms.
Your final thoughts?
Stan Prokop: To quote DR. FAUCI,’ the cavalry is on the way, ‘i.e., the vaccine, and we are optimistic that some sense of normalcy will return to business and personal lives.
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