Seven years ago, leaders in the merchant cash advance industry developed NAMAA, the North American National Advance Association. Originally, the organizations goals were to represent merchant cash advance providers, to promote competition and efficiency in the industry, engage in regulatory and legislative advocacy, and provide a forum for members to share educational and professional advancement information, ethical standards and best practices. In seven years, the industry has grown in leaps and bounds, with NAMAA gathering a membership of just under twenty member organizations.
In comparison of the industry's size, it may seem NAMAA is underutilized, and some have said the industry has changed, while the trade organization has not. In an announcement last week, NAMAA reflects a huge change, both in name, to the Small Business Finance Association (SBFA), and in membership, by extending invitation to members of the small business finance industry as a whole. According to David Goldin, President of the SBFA in a news release:
“With the alternative financing industry growing exponentially into a multi-billion dollar industry, we felt it was time for the trade association to evolve with it and open itself up to all types of small business alternative financing providers hence the name change to Small Business Finance Association. This industry trade association has been the voice of small business alternative lenders for over eight years and we look forward to evolving as the alternative financing industry rapidly expands each year. We look forward to opening up our membership base to even more members that share the same best practice principals of our current membership base.”
While it may take some time to redefine the organization's best practices, the change is a clear signal of the evolution of small business financing and alternative lending marketplace.
Membership Benefits Both Small Business and Consumers
Companies that participate in industry trade groups benefit from communication, collaboration, standardization practices, the sharing of latest trends, access to educational opportunities and professional development. They're able to unite to form a voice in legislation and make their industry strong and reliable. Those benefits to organizations translate to stronger businesses and better services and products for consumers. With the growth of the SBFA, more small business lenders will continue to advance and develop products that serve the nation's small businesses.
From the SBFA news release, the Small Business Finance Association (SBFA) is a not-for-profit 501c trade association representing organizations that provide alternative financing solutions to small businesses. SBFA (formerly known as NAMAA) provides guidance and helps to influence and shape the small business alternative financing industry through leadership, education and risk monitoring tools. For more information, visit http://www.sbfassociation.org.
When making purchasing decisions, do you select services from businesses who are members of trade organizations above those who are not?