6 Places To Creatively Search For Funding For Your Small Business


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Most times a small-business owner who is looking for support and financing needs to look no further than the local neighborhood. Here are six local sources of everything from training to help in securing local government contracts and also sources of loans for small companies.

1. Contact your state, county and local development departments. Among them are: statewide programs such as capital access programs; loan guarantee programs; and small business low-interest loan program that helps small companies acquire land, buildings or equipment.. There are also regional or city-based programs, such as economic development loan pools — low-interest loans for land, building acquisition, renovation or machinery and equipment purchases. Such aid is available since cities and regions are interested in promoting the economic health of their region and creating or retaining jobs in their area.

2. Look for any revolving loan fund (RLF) programs for which you might qualify. A revolving loan fund (RLF) is a gap financing measure primarily used for development and expansion of small businesses. It is a self-replenishing pool of money, utilizing interest and principal payments on old loans to issue new ones. The majority of RLFs support local businesses although some target specific areas such as health care, minority business development, and environmental cleanup.

3. Take advantage of organizations aimed at helping you. The following programs are specifically for women entrepreneurs. Also there is a federal agency for helping minority businesses.

4. Try your local community bank. Community banks are banks that practice “Local Decisions,” “Local Commitment” and “Local Investment” and focus attention on the needs of local families, businesses, and farmers.

5. People-to-people marketplaces like Prosper exist where people list and bid on loans. Interested borrowers begin by creating a loan listing for up to $25,000 that includes the maximum interest rate they are willing to pay. Lenders then begin bidding to fund amounts as low as $50 toward loan listings, potentially driving down the interest rate. Once the auction has ended and the loan is funded, the bids with the lowest rates are consolidated into one simple loan for the borrower.

6. Visit the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA assists small business owners with starting and expanding their businesses by helping them get loans through private banks and financial institutions. When you apply for an SBA loan you are actually applying for a commercial loan, structured according to SBA requirements, which receives an SBA guaranty. This guaranty is the portion of the loan the SBA will pay back to the lender should you default on your loan payments.

The loan you need may be right around the corner, if you just know where to search. Your local economic development organizations may be the answer to your financing needs.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jim Smith
YCHANGE International
Jim Smith mentors entrepreneurial start-ups and counsels small to mid sized companies that are looking to expand or are under performing or under capitalized.



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