Post by Amy Blais, contributing Women On Business writer
If you live in the New York area, you may have seen the recent commercials about Mike Bloomberg’s Women for Bloomberg coalition campaign. Bloomberg, along with others, is focused on helping women and minority owned businesses with loans to help them grow. During tough economic times, it may feel like banks are struggling and businesses won’t be able to get loans. But now more than ever, there are loan sources specifically targeted toward woman owned businesses.
As a woman business owner, research your financial options that are available. I would suggest starting with the SBA. The SBA is working hard to even the playing field for women, providing financial assistance with loans specifically for minority and women owned businesses as well. These loans are intended to help small businesses start up, grow, sustain and thrive.
The most used type loan of the SBA’s business loan program is the 7(a) loan. The main concept of the 7(a) loans program you need to keep in mind is that the loan comes from a commercial lender, it is not from the government. It is necessary for businesses to approach the lender for the loan positively, and to make sure they understand the criteria for the loan as well as their eligibility. The lender has the option of denying the loan if you do not come to them prepared.
Click here to read an article from Entrepreneur Magazine about other SBA loans available for small businesses. There are several options available, so when you are prepared to create a relationship with lenders, decide what is best for you and your business.
Keep in mind, when you decide to look for loans, do not be taken by a scam. Be sure to ask questions, research your options before giving out any financial information, and if you feel like you may have been scammed, visit the Federal Trade Commission site, and let them know. They will investigate the situation, as well as help you learn how to avoid scams in the future.