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1. Financing:  


If you need financing to start or expand a business and have trouble qualifying for traditional bank loans, then consider the following loan programs available through the SBA:

Basic 7(a) Loan Program - for starting, acquiring and expanding a small business. By far the most basic and popular loan program offered by the SBA and applications are available at participating lending institutions.

Certified Development Company (CDC) 504 Loan Program - designed for businesses that are growing and who have fixed assets such as land or buildings with which to secure a long-term, fixed-rate loan with.

Microloan Program - a community lending program funded by the SBA for loans up to $35,000 for new or growing businesses. Applications and decisions are administered locally nonprofit community based lenders.

Disaster Assistance Loans - provides financial assistance to businesses or individuals who are victims of disasters in a declared disaster area.

Economic Injury Loan - financial aid for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and nonprofits to help financially recover from physical disaster or agricultural production disaster.

Export Express - a streamlined system for connecting lenders and exporters with loans and lines of credit up to $250,000. Administered by lenders so that exporters have quicker access to funds. SBA can provide an eligibility review in as fast as 24 hours.

Export Working Capital - targeted for businesses that are capable of creating export sales but need help with operating capital to support those sales.

International Trade Loans - dedicated to businesses actively exporting but are negatively impacted by competition from importers so that loan proceeds can better level the competition.

Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative - funds for veterans and members of the military looking to start or expand a small business.

Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan - provides assistance to eligible small businesses to maintain normal operating conditions in the event an essential employee is called to duty in honor of a military reservist role.

CAPLines - an SBA umbrella program to help small businesses meet short-term and revolving capital needs.

Pollution Control Loans - aid to eligible small businesses to plan, design, and install a pollution control facility.

U.S. Community Adjustment And Investment Program (CAIP) - if a business resides in a county officially declared as being negatively affected by NAFTA, due to job loss and the county’s unemployment rate, assistance may be offered.

Website: http://www.sba.gov/    


Business grants are available through state and local programs, nonprofit organizations and other groups.

Some states provide grants for expanding child care centers; creating energy efficient technology; and developing marketing campaigns for tourism. These grants are not necessarily free money, and usually, require the recipient to match funds or combine the grant with other forms of financing such as a loan. The amount of the grant money available varies with each business and each grantor.

SBA has authority to make grants to non-profit and educational organizations in many of its counseling and training programs. The announcements for the counseling and training grants will appear on grants.gov. SBA does not have authority to make grants to small businesses for starting and expanding a business.

If your business does not meet the special criteria for grants, both federal and state government agencies provide financial assistance programs that help small business owners obtain loans and venture capital financing from commercial lenders.