A Guide to Choosing the Right Small Business Loan

Logo_BusinessNews_DailySeen in BusinessNews Daily:

“Small businesses today have a variety of options when it comes to finding a lender. There are government-backed loans and loans from banks, merchant service providers and alternative lenders, which include an assortment of online lending services that don’t come with those same guarantees as those backed by the government.”

Read the article here:

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The Big Deal About Small Business, Part 1

New Yorker_Resurgence-of-Small-BusinessThink big? Think again…

A January 24, 2015 article in the New Yorker exposes the advantage that small businesses have over their larger rivals, namely “true differentiation”.

“Most profoundly, the trend creates an industrial upheaval important to the long-term strength of the economy. It suggests an economy that is alive and reinventing itself, that is mutating from within, that is engaged in the never-ending process of creative destruction.”

BusinessUS supports the growth of small businesses by providing timely and affordable small business loans. If your small business has a true differentiation it wants to promote, contact Norris Lozano for information about new capital to get it done.

How Grameen Bank is about barn raising, and other observations

screen_cap“When Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus founded Grameen Bank, his innovation was not so much the idea of lending small sums of money to poor villagers in Bangladesh; it was the idea of lending to small groups of women who could help each other make the best use of the loans and ensure repayment. The community was the big idea.”

So says Tim Brown, CEO of Ideo.

The concept of providing capital that helps communities grow is not new to BusinessUS. Please reach out if a small business or organization in your community needs a boost.

 

Small Business Loans: hot… or not?

arrowsThe media is hungry for clues about the direction of the American economy. And as we know, small business is a key engine of this economy, providing 55% of all jobs and 66% of all net new jobs since the 1970’s, as well as 54% of all US sales.

Here are a few positive snippets from recent news:

U.S. small business optimism jumped in December to its highest level in more than eight years, the latest sign of strength in the economy even as dark clouds settle over global growth….The outlook was further bolstered by other data on Tuesday showing job openings approached a 14-year high in November.

But perhaps these headlines grabbed you:

So 2014, on the whole, seems to have been a good year for small businesses seeking capital from banks to grow…..But if you look at the numbers another way, you’d see that this increase is only telling part of the story. It’s a story of success mainly for small businesses seeking big money from big banks.

U.S. small-business lending never quite regained the ground lost during the Great Recession, ceding significant market share to larger firms that have benefited from a gradual but lengthy economic recovery, research from the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland finds.

Seems to be a mixed bag… so here’s some clarity. Big banks are stepping up to the plate for small business after almost 6 years of kicking them to the curb. But only in larger amounts. No surprise here: big banks make big loans to make big profits.

Where small business lending is growing is sub $150,000 loans, which many new online lenders are happy to provide – at massively high rates.

What’s still missing in the picture is the traditional meat-and-potatoes of the small business lending picture: community banks lending to small businesses in their communities.

Says Carly Fiorina in Inc. Magazine: “Unlocking capital is very important, and of course since the financial crisis, the surviving big banks have gotten bigger, but the community banking system is really struggling, and that means small businesses are struggling. It is community banks that provide most of the capital to small business, and [we need to] start unlocking small business loans again. We have got to get capital to them so they can form and thrive.”

If you want to learn more about small business loans, contact BusinessUS

What makes a small business “small”?

Logo_SBAWe are asked all the time “What defines a small business?” and “Why does it matter?”

Many would answer that small businesses are anchors of a community, creating jobs and opportunity in cities and towns across America.

According to the SBA, “The two most widely used standards to qualify a business as small are 500 employees for most manufacturing and mining industries and $7.5 million in average annual receipts for many non-manufacturing industries.”

And to the second question, only a qualifying small business is able to provide certain services to the SBA, and qualifies for certain financing programs from the SBA. These include SBA 7(a) loans, the most common and popular small business loans which are provided by traditional bank, community bank and non-bank lenders, and up to 85% of which are guaranteed by the SBA.

Learn more about SBA loan programs here.

~Norris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS

For small business, a lot of lending is moving online

Logo_Harvard_Business_ReviewWe’ve read multiple stories recently (here are just a few one, two, three, four…) about small business lenders accomplishing astonishing numbers with online lending platforms. In our research we’re finding that this new money appears easy to get (the online applications and due diligence are relatively simple), but the price is steep (annualized interest rates of up to 70%).

Problem is, small businesses have fewer financing options now then in the last decade. Indeed, small businesses have suffered 3 ways when it comes to acquiring capital they need to grow. According to the Harvard Business Review:

  1. “A decades-long trend toward consolidation of banking assets into fewer institutions is eliminating a key source of capital for small firms….”
  2. “…collateral owned by small businesses lost value during the financial crisis, potentially making small business borrowers less creditworthy today…”
  3. “In the recent recession, small-business sales were hit hard and may still be soft, undermining their demand for loan capital…”
  4. “…. tightening on loan terms, including the Federal Reserve Senior Loan Officer Survey, for small businesses increased at double-digit rates during the recession and recovery, and have eased at just single-digit rates over the past several quarters. Loosening has been much slower and more tentative for small firms than for large firms…” (italics added)

Despite the low barriers to lending, these expensive online lenders are not a sustainable solution to small business borrowing needs. What’s often overlooked in this discussion of small business loans are SBA loans. SBA loans are available from banks and non-bank lenders to American small businesses that “can not get credit elsewhere” (small businesses that are underserved by traditional lenders) at competitive rates (about 6%) with an SBA guarantee.

~ Norris Lozano

CEO of BusinessUS

Know the True Costs of Short-Term Online Loans, says Wall Street Journal

WSJ-logo“The pitch is simple and alluring: “We will lend you $50,000 and you only have to pay back $60,000 — and you can have the money in a day or two.” But watch out for the true cost of these short term loans – the interest can get you in trouble.

Read the Wall Street Journal article here:

~Norris Lozano, BusinessUS

Lozano and Bitters presenting at NAGGL Lending Leadership Summit

Headshot_NLozano 2_BWNorris Lozano, CEO of BusinessUS, will be presenting “Delivering Capital to Underserved Communities” with Stephanie Bitters at the Lending Leadership Summit of the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL), February 20.

In speaking to the 80+ C-level executives invited to the NAGGL summit, Lozano will reach into a deep well of experience in serving underserved communities with loans and resources. He has been responsible for leading teams in delivering key financing to projects with total costs of over $1 Billion in the last decade.

For more information on Norris Lozano, please visit this link.

For the text of the press release on the NAGGL Lending Leadership Summit, please click here

6 steps to Getting a Small Business Loan

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As you might expect, the SBA website is full of useful information about small business loans.

It will take a little digging to get through it all, and from time to time we’ll try to help push the best stuff forward.

Read on to learn 6 steps to Getting a Small Business Loan.

~ Norris Lozano, CEO, BusinessUS