If you are running any of the 1.1 million small businesses in Atlanta, you know how important small businesses are to the government. From Atlanta to Valdosta to Savannah, now more than ever, small business owners in Georgia need the resources to keep operating.
One of those resources could be financing your business. With the right financial product, you can take your business to the next level.
How a Loan Can Help Your Small Business in Georgia
Whether you have a new business in Georgia or a business passed down from generation to generation, a small business loan can help.
You can use it to get through slack times or invest it to grow your business. Ready to hire more employees? Expand to a second location? Buy larger inventory orders? Small business financing can help with all of this.
Small business loan options in Georgia
There are a variety of financing options to consider. Find the right one for your business.
Coronavirus pandemic loans
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses in Georgia and beyond have struggled to get back on their feet. To this end, the government has offered a few loan programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program, as well as Economic Disaster Loans, to help existing businesses do just that.
Keep in mind that these loans are available while funds run out. The PPP has already had two rounds of funding and has stopped taking new requests for the time being.
Working capital loans
Your credit profile will be taken into account for most of the loans on this list. If your credit is good, you may be eligible for a loan from a bank or credit union, which tend to offer competitive rates.
The US Small Business Administration offers low interest loan programs with long repayment periods. Many of these loans are aimed at boosting economic development, and some are intended for veteran or minority business owners. Whether you are interested in a 7 (a) loan or one of the SBA micro-loans, you will benefit from favorable repayment terms.
You might need the cash now, but you want the ability to access more cash later without taking out another loan. A business line of credit might be what you’re looking for. You will have access to a certain amount of funds which you can borrow, repay and borrow again.
If your business in Georgia requires expensive equipment like heavy machinery or company vehicles, there are specific loans called equipment loans for this purpose. Since the equipment you buy serves as collateral, you can usually get low interest rates.
While not exactly a loan, business credit cards can be useful for purchasing supplies for your business. However, many credit cards have high interest, so be sure to pay off your balance in full to avoid these charges.
Short term loan
If your credit isn’t good, you may not qualify for an SBA or bank loan, but you still have options.
There are lenders online who will provide you with short term financing based on other criteria, such as your annual income.
Merchant cash advance
If you accept debit and credit cards as payment for your purchases, you may want to consider a merchant cash advance, which is an advance on future credit card sales. Daily or weekly refunds, including fees, are automatically deducted from your transactions. This is a great option for a start-up that might not be eligible for other funding options.
How to qualify for a small business loan in Georgia
Each of the above financing solutions may have slightly different criteria to qualify. But there are a few places to start. I have already mentioned your credit which will be a major factor for most of these loans. The higher your credit scores, the better the repayment terms you will be eligible for.
If you don’t have business credit, lenders will look at your personal credit. It’s a good idea to learn how to build business credit so you don’t have to rely so much on your personal credit scores.
Depending on where you are applying for funding, you may be asked for your business plan. You do not have any ? There are several resources for small businesses in Georgia that can help you start one. The Small Business Development Center, which has offices across the country, can provide you with technical assistance, help you develop your business plan, and possibly help you apply for funding.
How to Apply for a Small Business Loan in Georgia
Applying for a small business loan will take a bit of work on your part, so be prepared in advance to make the process run smoothly.
Gather information about your business, including contact details, how long it has been in existence, employer ID number, if you have one, and annual income.
You will also need to provide personal information, such as your social security number.
Banks may require you to go to a branch to apply, and you may have to wait a few days for your decision. Online lenders, on the other hand, offer applications that only take a few minutes to complete, and you can often get an instant decision.
Once you have been approved, you will be given a loan agreement to review. This will have your loan amount approved, along with the interest rate and repayment terms. Sign the agreement and your funds will be deposited into your bank account.
What qualifies as a small business in Georgia?
If you are not sure if your business is considered a small business from a business lending perspective, here are some clarifications. A small business in Georgia has fewer than 300 employees and less than $ 30 million in annual gross revenue.
What grants are available in Georgia?
Loans are not the only source of financing to consider in Georgia. There are also a variety of business grants that do not require repayment. Business grants in Georgia include those aimed at businesses in specific counties, businesses in certain industries, and those who can ensure economic development in troubled regions.
How to get a loan to start a business in Georgia
The great state of Georgia is a wonderful place to start or grow your business. It is important to know what you want to use your loan for before you apply so that you can use the funds wisely. Find out about your credit scores so you can explore your different options based on what you’re eligible for.
If your credit might need work, spend some time improving it and apply for finance later when you qualify for better rates.
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