Technology Credit Union Provides SBA Loan to California Winery Sera Fina Cellars

The commercial loan will be used to purchase real estate.

San Jose, CA (April 7, 2014) —Technology Credit Union (Tech CU) announced this week it recently closed on a $1.4 million Small Business Administration (SBA) loan for Sera Fina CellarsOpens a new window, an emerging winery launched by fifth-generation winemaker Paul Scotto in Amador County. The SBA-guaranteed commercial loan will be used for the purchase of vineyards, a winery and a tasting room in the town of Plymouth.

Tech CU’s SBA program is growing to better serve the need for financing among small businesses in the Bay Area and its adjacent counties, which includes wineries and other agricultural businesses. Tech CU offers SBA loans ranging from $25,000 to $5 million, and as preferred lender, Tech CU can streamline the SBA application process for a qualified applicant, reducing the time between a loan request and funding.

“Finding the funds to grow your business is challenging for wineries,” said 20-year SBA lending veteran Brian Evans, who is Tech CU’s VP and SBA Business Development Officer. “A lot of banks have tightened their underwriting requirements and some have even gotten out of the wine business altogether. Traditional lending options, therefore, may not always be possible for wineries. SBA loans are another option because they’re government-guaranteed.”

Through its SBA loan program, Tech CU can help emerging and established wineries with funding for the purchase or refinance of real estate, construction, vineyard development, or equipment acquisition and leasing.

“We guide businesses through the process of getting an SBA loan, and help determine what program they qualify for,” explained Evans. “For example, we were able to finance Sera Fina under the SBA’s International Trade Loan Program due to the fact that the winery exports some of its products.”

Sera Fina Cellars is the realization of fifth-generation winemaker Paul Scotto’s lifelong dream of starting his own winery. Scotto learned the tradition of winemaking from his family, particularly through his grandfather, Anthony Scotto Sr., who founded Villa Armando winery and was a California wine pioneer. Scotto also studied winemaking at U.C. Davis’ Viticulture and Enology program.

“Even with my family’s pedigree, we’re still considered a young winery, and that makes it more challenging to find the right lending partner because most will only consider requests from older wineries that are well-established,” said Scotto. “It was great to find Tech CU. Brian worked with us and took the time to understand our business so he could match us with the right SBA program. Ultimately, that meant getting us funded and able to purchase the land and property for our vineyards and winery. It’s been a life changer.”

In addition to SBA lending, Tech CU offers fixed and variable rate loans up to $10 million for commercial real estate and construction projects, as well as business lines of credit and business checking and savings accounts. The credit union makes all lending decisions locally — providing Tech CU’s lending team the ability to be more flexible in structuring a loan.

Tech CU has been expanding its business banking products in recent years to broaden its product portfolio and better serve the needs of its members in all aspects of their lives.

Go to Tech CU’s web site for more information on the SBA loan program or contact Brian Evans at 408-441-4774.


Founded in 1960 by the employees of Fairchild Camera and Instrument Semiconductor Division, Tech CU has served the high tech workforce in Silicon Valley for more than 50 years and today has 70,000 individual, non-profit and business members and more than $1.8 billion in assets. The financial institution is recognized as one of the best managed and strongest in the country, as indicated by Tech CU’s 5-star rating from Bauer Financial, the nation’s largest independent rating service for banks and credit unions. Tech CU’s members have access to 65,000+ surcharge-free ATMs nationwide, online and mobile banking, 10 full-service branches throughout the Bay Area, and comprehensive mortgage, wealth management and commercial banking services.

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