Genesis Bank is wagering huge on mom-and-pop hair salons

Genesis Bank CEO Stephen Gordon talks with director Tam Nguyen and Nguyen’s mom, Minh.

With deposits at a premium industrywide, a de novo bank thinks it can open an abundant vein of liquidity serving underbanked mom-and-pop companies in its Southern California footprint.

The $181 million-asset Genesis Bank in Newport Beach revealed an expert network to service Southern California’s huge however fragmented nail and appeal market last month. Genesis prepares to introduce a comparable effort concentrated on dining establishments and other food and drink companies, Chairman and CEO Stephen Gordon stated.

“That’s one of the next directions we’re going to go,” Gordon stated, describing Genesis’ interest in the dining establishment, food and drink area. While Gordon didn’t dismiss financing by Genesis, the bank’s main goals appear to tilt more towards the financing side of the balance sheet.

“Banks historically don’t like to finance [restaurants and other food and beverage businesses] but there are a lot of nonbank third parties that absolutely want to provide financing opportunities,” Gordon stated.  “We just want to bank the cash management, treasury management and depository” side of the relationship.

Genesis, which opened in August 2021, has actually shown adept at deposit event. It reported deposits of $116.7 million on March 31 — up from $98 million at year end. Genesis is among simply 3 minority depository organizations categorized as a multiracial MDI. For a bank to get the multiracial MDI classification, it needs to serve a footprint whose population is mainly minority, and it needs to include a multiracial board of directors. In Genesis’ case, 4 of 7 directors are minorities.

In April, Genesis revealed the development of the Beauty Industry Professional Alliance (BIPA), which will provide little nail and beauty parlor monetary and technical education, access to specialists in organization and work law, along with accounting, tax and insurance coverage services. Genesis’ contribution to the BIPA network consists of funding chances, together with “technology enabled treasury and cash management depository services,” Gordon stated.

Genesis’ technique presumes business owners in the nail and appeal area will value the BIPA’s extensive method more than their present relationships, which hardly ever extend beyond a regional bank branch, according to Jennifer Simmons, Genesis’ president and chief running officer.

“They’re talking to someone with no authority who turns over so quickly in some cases that clients don’t know who to call to help with a loan,” Simmons stated. “Then, that nail or beauty owner is turning to friends or family or their home equity line or their credit card. It happens in this space more than it should. If you get the proper banker, they can find the proper financing.”  

Support from an expert network “will empower beauticians to manage their businesses more efficiently and effectively,” stated Tammy Camp, creator and CEO of the San Francisco-based digital payments service provider Stronghold.

“The banking industry should pay more attention to small-service businesses like nail and beauty salons,” Camp included. “They serve an essential function in local economies and deserve business services that meet their unique needs. A network offering these will uplift entrepreneurs and offer valuable business growth opportunities.”

“Underbanking is rampant among small businesses, and giving them better access to credit could spur economic growth,” Jack Prenter, CEO at the Canadian-based monetary research study company DollarWise, stated.

Though Gordon explained nail and beauty parlor as “an unnoticed industry,” Genesis’ participation isn’t as much of a stretch as it may appear. One of its directors, Tam Nguyen, functions as chairman of Advanced Beauty College in Garden Grove, California. Nguyen assisted develop the BIPA principle, Gordon stated. Many of Advanced Beauty College’s more than 50,000 graduates have actually opened hair salons in Southern California, Gordon included.

“There is a massive number of these salons here in Southern California, and a huge number of them right here in Orange County, in our backyard,” Gordon stated. “They all know Tam Nguyen. It’s logical for us to do this given our connectivity into” the nail and appeal market. 

Genesis’ potential dining establishment, food and drink effort is likewise taking advantage of a board-level increase. Director Ruben Smith, a popular Southern California lawyer, likewise functions as chairman of the Latino Food Industry Association.

In addition to Genesis and Advanced Beauty College, which will offer customers with technical support, the BIPA network consists of lawyers Derrick Nguyen and Mike Vo. Local CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT, tax and insurance coverage companies are likewise part of the alliance. 

“We’ve kind of put together a dream-team, one-stop professional advisory approach,” Gordon stated. “It’s not what banks have become. Banks over the decades have become very transactional.”

There ought to be no lack of possible clients for the BIPA.

Genesis’ four-county footprint, consisting of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, is substantial, house to 17.5 million individuals and more than 480,000 small companies, according to the Census Bureau. As lots of as 11,000 of those small companies are nail and beauty parlor, Gordon approximated.

“There are some people who own 50 or 100 locations, but they’re not the norm. The norm is the individual or family who own one or two locations,” Gordon stated. “It’s extremely fragmented.”

Genesis might have struck on an useful time to delve into the nail and appeal area. According to the Bureau of Labor data, work for nail and appeal employees is anticipated to grow faster than the average for all professions. BLS projection 22% development for nail employees throughout the years ending 2031. That figure is 11% for appeal employees.

“We know that we can be a go-to solution for those within the industry who right now are kind of left behind and don’t have the same level of access to the banking system as a lot of other more sophisticated businesses,” Gordon stated.


A news media journalist always on the go, I've been published in major publications including VICE, The Atlantic, and TIME.

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