Small business owners need access to small business loans, but currently the only governmental organization that facilitates small business owner’s access to credit is the US Small Business Administration. Founded in July 30, 1953, the effectiveness of the organization has been called into question by Republican lawmakers who propose merging it with the Labor and Commerce departments in order to form a department of Commerce and the Workforce. While the proposed super-department would theoretically retain the functions of the SBA, many small business leaders and lobbyists are up in arms against the proposed changes, claiming that the creation of a consolidated department is really a veiled attempt to dramatically reduce or simply do away with many of the programs offered by the SBA. What has these constituents even more flustered is the fact that President Obama has stated his support for the consolidation of similar governmental organizations, as well as the nagging memory of when President Ronald Reagan attempted to shut down the organization in an

In a recent Forbes article, an important point about small business financing was brought up, that point being that there is no true “one size fits all” financial product available for small business owners. Indeed, every small business is unique, with different needs and different financial situations that can’t always be addressed  by the range of products offered by traditional banks. The article also points out the fact that many small businesses aren’t able to meet the underwriting requirements for small business loan programs due to bad credit, not enough time in business, or a lack of collateral with which to back their business loan. Some business owners will be able to qualify for bank loans or SBA backed business loan programs, but still require short term “bridge financing” in order to complete time sensitive projects. What can be taken away from this is that, within the small business lending sphere, there needs to be flexibility and more than a single approach to funding where if

While in 2013, the stock market saw a strengthening that had champagne corks popping on Wall Street, small business owners across the US had a different experience, with the majority of them remaining cautiously optimistic, keeping hiring and growth rates low. While much of the slow growth rate on main street can be blamed on economic uncertainty and the issues created by the government shutdown and the roll out of Obamacare, which could potentially raise costs of doing business for many employers, much of the lackluster growth rate can be blamed on a lack of readily available expansion capital for business owners due to tightened regulations. Small business owners who have bad credit or other financial issues have huge difficulties applying for capital from traditional bank loan programs, and even SBA backing is difficult for small business owners to secure in order to get a bad credit business loan. As a result, alternative business financing sources have become an increasingly popular alternative for entrepreneurs who

When it comes to small business financing, before a business owner actually sets out to procure it, they may not really know much about the realities of what they should expect. For the most part, until a small business owner sets out to obtain external capital for the first time, they will have only anecdotal knowledge of how the financing process works. While waiting until a small business loan is needed to figure out how to obtain capital is the most common scenario, a lot of time can be wasted by small business owners who bark up the wrong trees based on common assumptions about what products their business is able to successfully apply for. In the interest of dispelling some of the most common erroneous beliefs, we have taken the time to debunk three of the most common misconceptions small business owners have around financing. Myth #1: Grants are readily available for those who take the time to apply. While there are a wide variety

Bad credit business loans; a phrase that seemed to be an oxymoron in 2013 as financing from the traditional banking establishment  proved incredibly elusive to small business owners, especially when the activities of the SBA were put on indefinite hold during the Government Shutdown in October. However, bad credit business loans, or the lack thereof, were not the only issues that plagued small businesses throughout the year. From man made disasters like the Boston Marathon bombing, to natural disasters such as the crushing tornadoes that swept through Oklahoma, small business owners all over the nation were dealt hands that were tough to play by fate. However, despite the pressures on small businesses over the past year, many small business owners are claiming that 2014 will be the year that things turn around for them. According to a Wall Street Journal survey, 52% of small business owners surveyed stated that they thought the economy had improved in 2013, compared to 36% last year. Some signs of

A new year is always bittersweet, as we say goodbye to both the failures and successes of last year and look towards what can be an intimidatingly blank slate. What makes this new year even more intimidating for small business owners, in particular those with bad credit, are issues that have either created problems after the fact, such as the tightening of underwriting criteria for small business loans on the part of major banks, to speed bumps that may have not yet made their full impact felt, such as the new costs for certain businesses associated with Obamacare. Small business owners should diversify their income streams. What we learned from 2013 is that if you rely solely on one source of income, you might be left in an extremely uncomfortable position if it is taken away by unforeseen circumstances. For example, many contractors who counted the US Government as their biggest client (and for others, their only client)  were blindsided by the catastrophic government shutdown, which

As the chill of winter has settled in, and the holiday season is almost ended, many small business owners across the US are preparing to face their leanest months. While these months can be tough for businesses in a wide variety of industries, including retail where holiday shopping ebbs and landscaping businesses which must make the most out of snow removal, business owners who are waiting to be paid on outstanding contracts can be among the hardest hit of all. These businesses rely on timely payments for work that is either ongoing or already completed, but when the winter threatens financial strain not only for them, but for their clients as well, their collection of payments may be cut off. In these instances, businesses are often left with few other options than to try and work something out with their clients directly or file a lien, which is a time consuming and potentially costly way to recover owed assets. A recent article from 9 News,

Create a pitch targeting them. For example, putting a sign in your window with a funny phrase letting these tardy shoppers know that you have them covered can make a lot of difference when they pass by your location. You can also promote after Holiday specials on your website or through social media accounts. The more you put your message out there, the better response you can expect. Give them a deal. A special offer can attract more frugal shoppers, after all, at the end of the holiday season, people are more likely to have spent their budget for presents already. The perception that they are getting a deal can convince your customers to spend that last bit of their holiday budget. Stress the unique qualities of your products. The reason why people are going to buy from your small business over a big box retailer is because often times they think of small business products as being innately more unique, thus making better and more thoughtful gifts.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is an organization that many small business owners in the US don’t exactly understand. For many, the organization’s role may not be clear, as evidenced by the number of business owners (or would be business owners looking for start up capital) who ask for loans on their message boards. The SBA does not provide loans directly, rather, it provides backing for small business loan programs provided by banks. With the current high underwriting criteria on the part of these banks, many small businesses are finding it difficult to qualify for these programs. Efforts to help these businesses, for example by changing procedures around accessing holiday lines of credit, are often less than effective. The Herald Tribune’s recent story on new SBA programs highlights the inefficiency of the changes by pointing out there are still too many businesses being denied access to the capital they need, when they actually need it. More troubling, business owners who have bad credit usually cannot

In the US, the entrepreneurial tradition is a strong part of our cultural heritage. Entrepreneurs have shaped the history of the country and laid the foundation for future generations to build on, creating a tradition of independent business that is important to our political economy. One of the pressing needs that small businesses have is the need for readily accessible capital when they want to jump start their growth. Cash flow alone is often not enough for business owners who are looking to increase their capacity; they need an infusion of liquid cash that they can use to pursue their projects. Within the difficult lending climate that exists today, it can be extremely difficult for small business owners to access traditional loans, especially if they have bad credit issues. Out of the dearth of capital options, bad credit business loan alternatives have become an increasingly common way for small business owners to obtain the capital they are looking for. These products offer a few distinct

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