These financial resources can help boost struggling businesses and provide necessary cash flow to jump-start operations.
It is harder than ever for small businesses to get loans and grants due to the nation's economic woes. Still, these financial resources can help boost struggling businesses and provide necessary cash flow to jump-start operations. Here are just a few of the resources available to small businesses:
If you need equipment, furniture or inventory, the SBA Microloan Program may lend your business up to $50,000 specifically for those purchases. Before gaining approval, you may be invited to attend a training session hosted by the lender. The program is designed to help you be a more successful business owner, and the training may be anything from a seminar or class to a one-on-one counseling session. The lender may also give you advice on setting up a website, learning how the SBA can help you or give you other types of small business consulting.
Business owners who find securing traditional loans difficult may find help at Accion. Not only does Accion lend amounts up to $500,000, they also promote financial education and help business owners implement green practices. Their services are perfect for those just starting up, navigating a transition or those looking to grow their companies.
Minority-owned small businesses can obtain loans through the Minority Business Development Agency. The federal agency steps in when banks are a dead end, and each center is staffed by an experienced team of specialists that ensure minority-owned businesses have the support and information they need to thrive.
Four lenders provide financial and other resources to small businesses through the Center for Community Self-Help. As of 2011, the center has given over $6 billion in financing through the collaborative effort, including specialty and general small business loans.
Finally, the Small Business Innovation Research Program benefits entrepreneurs with a special interest in research and development. Through the program, you can receive grants of as much as $1 million for up to two years, and your business receives all the profits if it is successful.
What are your go-to financial resources for helping your small business? Share your favorites with our readers in the comments below.