As a small business owner or entrepreneur, ask yourself why you may think it is important to be “loan-ready”. Do you know where to go or who you could see when you may have questions regarding a loan or being prepared? Have you struggled previously with the loan process? Or are you just simply unaware or misinformed?
Well fear not! Over the next few months, I will be able to further explain the importance and process for small businesses to become loan-ready. Through my previous banking and current role with the GRCA, I’ll share experiences and best practices that will help you obtain the capital you need for your business. Be mindful and understanding that this will be a high-level overview of the loan process and not identical to every situation out there.
Inform yourself about your local Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) such as the Greater Reading Chamber Alliance (GRCA) and the benefits or resources they have to offer. CDFI’s, are privatized financial institutions that dedicate delivering responsible, yet affordable lending to assist individuals with a lower income or wealth status and the disadvantaged community’s bridge to the economic mainstream. Typically, these institutions receive necessary funds from Federal, State, or even Local Government agencies. Businesses such as Santander Bank, Fulton Bank, or Diamond Credit Union are only a few of many commercial banks in Berks County that can offer a wide array of commercial products such as business checking accounts, merchant services, personal/business loans, mortgages, and more. Some of these establishments can also offer additional lending options which may include U.S SBA products.
It’s healthier to be prepared for an emergency rather than trying to get out of one. Be sure to avoid crisis situations like delinquent accounts, credit exhaustion, insufficient funds, payroll insufficiencies, or outrageous interest rates from loan sharks. In most scenarios, it is in fact, already too late to save your business if you find yourself in any of those examples.
By Jobany Bedoya
Small Business Director / GRCA