I built a 4 bed sleep disorder center in a small town in _______. It was state of the art and beautiful – and the 2 existing hospital based clinics went nuts about a competitor in town – let alone a woman!!! After one wonderful year, the 2 competing facilities got ugly – threatening emails, etc. – really bad stuff that you don’t think goes on. So I found a wonderful hospital chain in a nearby city to partner with. They planned to buy my clinic and keep it business as usual – my staff and I were ecstatic. I particularly was happy as that last year had been hell on earth – I was cashing out retirement to make payroll since the competing hospital based clinics were telling their docs that they could not refer to me. Anyway, I had my letter of intent from the “good guys” and days before the purchase – my banker stepped in, called the loan and sold the entire clinic to one of the two local hospitals who had been particularly angry about my existence. (they did not want competition coming to town).
Understand that the CFO from that competing hospital had come to my clinic twice – bullying me – the last time basically threatened me. In terms of $, the banker “sold” my clinic to the hospital for $25,000 – and I was selling it to the intended buyers for $250,000.00. My landlord admitted to me that he was paid by the hospital for his role in helping keep a competitor out of town and the word is that the banker was paid as well. I am still paying on the sleep clinic that is now owned by the bullying hospital. And NO ONE regulates banks and business loans – no agency, no one – it is the wild, wild west out there and business owners need to be wary of these small banks – they do what they want and make tons of money – very scary.
Of course, when I told people what happened – the hospital sent me a letter threatening to sue. It is astonishing to me how this stuff still goes on – it made the Soprano episodes look like child’s play. I still think that being a woman in the business world is a scary thing and there is no one to help. The attorneys that I met with said it was a criminal matter – not a civil matter – but NO agency or entity regulates this type of thing.
Sad and scary. Everything – and I mean everything was gone. So this will be a David and Goliath situation as I am going to keep telling my story until these business loan banks are regulated. (there seems to only be regulation for home mortgage banking)