Diana Ransom, a small business reporter for the Wall Street Journal, has some tips for financing your small business. Business owners are discovering that their typical sources are restricting loans’ credit terms as well as the number of loans they give out. An April survey done by the Federal Reserve shows 75% of domestic banks are tightening credit for small businesses, up from 70% in January. Credit card companies are also increasing their rates and limiting their terms for small business cards, if they still offer small business cards to begin with. While traditional lines of credit dry up, below are five alternative sources of funding for small businesses:
Government-backed loans: The Small Business Administration (SBA) started to guarantee up to 90% of some loans. According to Brian Hamilton, CEO of Sageworks in North Carolina, preferred SBA lenders might be more apt to give your business an SBA-backed loan. Ever since President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) in February, the weekly loan dollar volume has increased more than 40%.
Community banks and credit unions: As the lending situation improves, community banks are looking to issue more loans. Also, as larger lenders tighten their terms, credit unions will have the option of taking on more small business loans.
Peer-to-Peer networks: Websites such as Prosper, Virgin Money and Lending Club allow borrowers to find individual private contributors online to fund their businesses.
Microlenders: Recently, the higher rates generally given by microlenders have come down. One microlender, Accion, reduced its rates from between 11% and 18% to between 8% and 15%. In addition, the SBA offers microloans at rates between 8% and 13%.
Accounts Receivable Factoring: Although CIT, one of the nation’s largest factoring firms, is going under, there are plenty of other smaller and comparable factoring firms that will advance you up to 90% of the receivable. PRN Funding, LLC is one of those factoring firms.
Click here to read the entire Wall Street Journal article: Five Alternative Sources of Funding