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.
Patricia Bishop says
I am a 60 yr. old female in Hampton Virginia,I ownes a small janitorial cleaning services,I got sick and could not run my business my contracts ended and I am left with bills to pay.I am frying to get back on my feet but I really need help.I have tried banks,loan companies some private lenders and no one wants to give me a second chance.Who can I turn to I know I can pay a loan back because I am a very hard worker.The word of God says we have not because we ask not .(but who can I ask that will help me? Oh yes I have even tried the SBA and got nothing.In janitorial cleaning there are no credit card sales .
Mary Howard says
I m a 55year old woman who owns a pizzeria/bar I have been in business for 3 years. I started out as a small carry out with about seating for 30 I did well and decide to expand. In march of this year I opened my new place with a full bar and setting fr 130. I am doing ok but the expanding cost is killing me I am struggling every month to pay back my expansion money. I have put all the persons
Money I can I can’t get a loan from,my bank due to the fact my personal credit has suffered trying to keep the business afloat do you know of any place that can help me. My business makes very good money I just need to consolidate please I need help NOW
Susan Gunelius says
The first places I would look are your local SCORE and SBA. Here are some links:
Main SCORE page: http://www.score.org/
Main SBA page: http://www.sba.gov/
SBA Loans and Grants page: http://www.sba.gov/content/search-business-loans-grants-and-financing
A few more useful resources:
Leona Charles says
If you are struggling with cash flow you may want to look into invoice factoring, it can give you access to capital based on your projected invoices for the month. I wouldn’t recommend it for a long-term solution but it may give you some breathing room while you find that long term answer. Also I would ask if you have looked at operating costs, the restaurant industry has very low margins and operating cost contribute to a lot of the stress associated with the industry.
Leona Charles says
have you tried any of the economically disadvantaged programs for women and minority business? Also when your contracts ended was that bridge burnt or are you able to secure more contracts now?