Get your financial information ready.
Before you can take out a traditional bank loan, you will need to have certain information ready. SCORE can help you figure out what information you need & how you should present it. ASSETS provides one-on-one help for entrepreneurs who participate in a Lending Circle. Ben Franklin Technology Partners also provides one-on-one help for Pennsylvania technology related startups that participate in their programs.
Microloans (less than $50,000).
A microloan can be a good way to help finance a new business, however you will need to show that you have credit or experience to backup your startup. ASSETS provides a range of microloans from $600 to $3,600 that can help entrepreneurs repair credit while establishing their business. Community First Fund offers startup loans from $3,000 to $60,000 for qualifying businesses.
Other financing options.
Beyond traditional loans, other financing options are available for qualifying businesses. ASSETS and the Community First Fund provide ‘gap financing’, which can be used to help when a traditional loan is not quite covering the full amount needed. Ben Franklin provides grants and investments for Pennsylvania technology-based startups and businesses. Community First Fund can help your business navigate bond funds, New Market Tax Credits, municipal loan fund management and creation, and other unique funds raising efforts. Lancaster City Alliance can help educate you on various tax credit and exemption programs for businesses located in certain parts of the city. All of these organizations can also help qualified businesses connect with venture capital and equity investments. For lists, directories, and information on angel donors, venture capitalists, and grant opportunities, ask the Duke Street Business Center.
Business loans (2+ years in business).
Traditional business loans are available for entrepreneurs who have two years of tax returns for their business. ASSETS provides loans of $3,600 to $50,000 through a variety of programs for established businesses. Community First Fund provides loans up to $3,000,000 in commercial real estate, affordable & market-rate housing, micro business loans, and small business loans.
Next level financing.
Businesses that are experiencing rapid growth and need strategic financing option should reach out to ASSETS, Community First Fund, or Lancaster EDC.