Vision Loans Program receives additional $10 million in funding from Essilor and VSP Vision Care
August 01, 2012
Nearly $58 million distributed to doctors for growth of independent optometry since 2003
Dallas, TX, (August 1, 2012) – Essilor of America, Inc., and VSP® Vision Care today 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,” said 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% of a private practice.
Down Payments: In conjunction with seller financing when purchasing up to 100% of a private practice.
Practice Refinance: Available for debt used as initial startup 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,” said 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, 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.
Essilor is the leading manufacturer of optical lenses in the United States and is the market leader in progressive, high-index and anti-reflective coated lenses. A pioneer in the development and production of ophthalmic lenses, Essilor employs more than 9,000 people throughout North America. Essilor manufactures optical lenses under the
Varilux®, Crizal®, Xperio®, DEFINITY®, Thin&Lite® and other Essilor brand names. Essilor Laboratories of America (ELOA) is the largest, and most trusted, optical lab network in the U.S. and offers a wide choice of services and lens brands, including Essilor premium lenses, to eyecare professionals across the nation. Essilor of America, Inc. (Essilor) is a subsidiary of Paris-based Essilor International, a publicly held company traded on the Euronext Paris stock exchange (Reuters: ESSI.PA).
Varilux, Crizal, Xperio and DEFINITY are registered trademarks of Essilor International. Thin&Lite is a registered trademark of Essilor of America, Inc.
About VSP Global
VSP Global® includes VSP Vision Care, the largest not-for-profit vision benefits and services company in the United States with 56 million members; Marchon® Eyewear Inc., one of the world’s largest manufacturers, designers and distributors of quality fashion and technologically-advanced eyewear and sunwear; Eyefinity® which offers innovative solutions and the premier management software and technology to improve overall practice management and patient experience; VSP Optics Group, industry leaders in new technologies, production processes, service and logistics.
To date, through VSP community outreach programs such as VSP Mobile Eyes® and Sight for Students®, and through relationships including those with the American Red Cross and Prevent Blindness America, VSP has invested more than $147 million in free eyecare and eyewear for more than 775,000 adults and children in need throughout the United States.
About Vision One Credit Union
Vision One Credit Union was founded in 1951 as a banking organization for optometrists. It operates as a non-profit institution with an all OD, volunteer Board of Directors. Vision One is owned by its depositors who represent all aspects of independent optometry (ODs, Optometric Colleges, Associations, Societies and Industry).