Essilor of America, Inc., and VSP Vision Care announced that they each have committed an additional $5 million in funding to the Vision Loans Program, which supports independent eyecare professionals (ECPs) by providing loans to optometrists looking to finance first-time practice purchases, partnership buy-ins and refinancing options.
The Vision Loans Program is a joint effort between Vision One Credit Union, Essilor and VSP. Since its launch in 2003, the program has distributed nearly $58 million in financial support to optometrists who want to enter private practice and those who want to successfully transition out. All loan payments are reinvested back into the program to ensure the continued success and growth of private practice optometry. “Supporting the Vision Loans Program is an important way for us to help optometrists remain independent and competitive in this changing marketplace,” says Howard Purcell, OD, vice-president of Customer Development at Essilor.
“The dynamics of the optometric practice today present some unique challenges to graduating ECPs.This added commitment will help thousands more enter private practice, and we are glad to provide that support.” Vision Loans provide funds for first-time buyers interested in:
Partnership Buy-ins: To purchase an ownership interest in an existing practice.
Practice Purchases: In conjunction with existing Vision One loan programs to purchase 100 percent of a private practice.
Down Payments: In conjunction with seller financing when purchasing up to 100 percent of a private practice.
Practice Refinance: Available for debt used as initial start-up or purchase of a private practice. “Innovative offerings like the Vision Loans Program help make certain that independent optometry can grow and renew itself year after year,” says VSP Global’s Chairman of the Board Stuart Thomas, OD. “We’re committed to exploring and supporting initiatives that keep independent ECPs thriving.”
Despite an uncertain economic outlook, Vision One says that demand for the program remains strong due to the unique capital loan access it provides, which can be difficult to obtain through traditional bank lenders. In fact, since the beginning of the recession, over $37 million in practice purchase loans have been funded.
For more information about Vision Loans, contact Vision One Credit Union’s lending division at 800-327-2628 or visionone.org.