Re: minority loans


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Posted by Luann Udell on November 05, 2002 at 18:06:58:

In Reply to: Re: minority loans posted by John on November 01, 2002 at 16:20:16:

Hate to tell you this, but you might also have to find a different "minority" to apply under--last statistics I saw, women outnumbered men in start-up businesses! And most *small* businesses are owned by women... :^)

If you are considering loans from government-sponsored agencies like the SBA, be forewarned that the application process, and the time it takes to actually get the loan--can be killer. Our area newspaper ran a series of articles about SBA loans a few years ago. Turns out the average wait was around 4 years. In most cases, by the time the loan was processed, the company in question was either already successful or already out of business! Your local branch might be faster, but it would be a good idea to find out who else applied previously, and how long they had to wait.

John's advice to check with your bank is good. If you do consider a bank, try a locally-based bank. Many, in an attempt to truly serve their community, are surprisingly friendly to small businesses, even start-ups. At the very least, they can probably point you in the right direction for help. Also check with your local SBA office, and SCORE. That's because some states and some banks support very small "micro credit" organizations, especially for smaller business loans--up to $10,000. Sometimes these are small co-op type ventures, where members lend a pooled collection of money to other members, usually in very small amounts at first--$250, $500, etc. As the member pays back the loan, they qualify for larger and larger loans. These are growing in popularity in the last decade or so, so there might well be one in your area.

Many states also have other innovative start-up assistance. I'm not sure where the best place to start, but some of the agencies I've just mentioned should be plugged in enough to know.

Some colleges with business programs are also a wealth of knowledge--some classes even offer free "consulting" from their students as a class project. Some of the ones from Keene State University, our local college, are well-known for their consulting acumen. They would be able to connect you to other resources in your state.

No matter who or what agency you approach, you will be a solid contender if you have a well-thought out business plan, including financial spread sheets, your short-term and long-term goals, a market assessment, etc. *Everyone* wants to know where their money will be going and how you plan to pay it back.

Good luck, HTH,
Luann



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