Georgia Small Business Loans

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PrimeRates Guide to Small Business Loans in Georgia

The rate of lending to businesses via small business loans has held relatively steady since 2010, and total reported new lending to businesses via loans of $1 million or less was more than $7 billion as of 2019.

If you have a small business in the state of Georgia, we’ve compiled some resources to help you take advantage of business loans, grants, and other financial opportunities to grow your business.

How a loan can help your small business in Georgia

Taking out a loan can help a small business get the funds needed to start, expand, or manage the day-to-day operations of their company. Small business loans are often used for:

  • Improving cash flow 
  • Purchasing inventory
  • Purchasing equipment 
  • Expanding
  • Remodeling 
  • Marketing and branding
  • Team bonding activities
  • Training
  • Software 

Types of small business financing options in Georgia

There are a few different types of financing that small business owners in Georgia can pursue:

  • SBA loans: SBA loans offer some of the best deals on financing from lower interest rates and down payments to more flexible loan terms and requirements. Small businesses who have had difficulty obtaining financing from other sources may find success through the SBA. These loans are not funded directly by the government, but rather from partner lenders. SBA loans are backed by the Small Business Administration. There are a variety of different loan programs to choose from including microloans, equipment loans, real estate loans, and general business loans.
  • Term loans: Term loans are a common form of business loan offered by a variety of financial institutions including banks, credit unions, and online lenders. They typically have a fixed repayment period, interest rate (although rates may be variable) and monthly payment. For a one-time sum of cash, a term loan can help.
  • Online business loans: Online business loans can offer fast funding times and less strict requirements, But most importantly, they can save business owners tons of valuable time. Traditional brick and mortar banks are even starting to offer loans online in order to compete. The most important component of transacting online is to ensure you’re dealing with a legitimate lender. Taking advantage of safe online platforms that connects you to vetted lenders and allows you to shop offers. 
  • Commercial business loans: A commercial business loan may be used to finance various aspects of your business including a vehicle, real estate purchase, or construction costs. This type of loan gives business owners the capital they need to pay for major purchases. Commercial loans and mortgages may be offered by a bank, credit union, or online lender.
  • Business credit cards: Business credit cards can help small businesses monitor spending and improve cash flow. However, they are not the best way to float money or finance purchases. Overspending on a credit card can lead to a cycle of debt that can eventually destroy your business. If you use a credit card, be sure to pay the balance in full every month.
  • Lines of credit: A line of credit is similar to a credit card, but with lower interest rates and higher limits. A line of credit is typically secured by an asset. A business line of credit can be drawn on (as long as the amount does not exceed the available limit). Then, interest will only be charged on the money you draw. A line of credit can help seasonal businesses or inventory heavy businesses.

Small business financing resources in Georgia

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is a good starting point for businesses in any state to access resources and information about financing options including loans, investment capital, disaster assistance, surety bonds, and grants. SBA-backed loans are a popular option for many entrepreneurs.

In addition, Georgia business owners can benefit from some of the following local resources:

  • The First Stop Business Guide put together by the Georgia Secretary of State offers a comprehensive guide to starting, financing and operating a business in the state of Georgia.
  • The Georgia Department of Economic Development has a similar resource page on their website for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
  • Georgia Power has compiled a comprehensive list of financial resources and economic relief initiatives for businesses in the state of Georgia. This list includes loans, grants, and disaster relief programs.
  • The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center is another great resource for entrepreneurs looking to get started with the information, resources, and funding needed to grow and succeed.
  • Local resources at the city level include funding opportunities available through the city of Atlanta and the Invest Atlanta business development agency.

Small business grants available in Georgia

Small business grants exist to help business owners become successful while boosting the local economy. Grants are considered gifts and do not need to be paid back. Many grant programs focus on providing assistance to specialized areas of the community including women, veterans, or minorities.

Small business grants may be offered by government agencies, corporations, organizations, and others.

There are a few options of where business owners in the state of Georgia can apply for small business grants:

  • The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant awards small businesses up to $15,000 to help them expand through international business development activities (such as attending trade shows or updating marketing materials for an international audience).
  • Business owners located in certain developing areas of the city of Atlanta are eligible for small business improvement grants of up to $20,000 for interior and exterior improvements.
  • Professional artists (and non-profit organizations) located in Atlanta may be eligible for various grants through The Municipal Support for the Arts program.
  • Businesses located in the city of Norcross that have been affected by COVID-19 may be eligible for the ARPA Small Business Grant Program.

Business owners can also check for grants through various state agencies including the Georgia Department of Education, Georgia Department of Human Services, Georgia Department of Local Affairs, and many others. Grants are often available at the local and county level as well.

On the federal level, small business grants are available through various sources including the SBA, USDA and other government agencies.

Tips for applying for a small business loan in Georgia

There are a few things you can do to prepare for your loan application and increase your chances of getting approved for a small business loan in Georgia:

  • Consider your credit: To qualify for a business loan you’ll need to meet some requirements. While requirements can vary by lender, a good credit score is required by most lenders. Even though you’re applying for a business loan, your personal credit score can be taken into account. To improve your chance of qualifying, review your credit report and know your credit score. If there are ways you can improve your score before applying, do so.
  • Have a business plan: Most lenders will ask to see a written business plan as a part of the underwriting process to consider you for a business loan. Your business plan should include several key elements including an executive summary, marketing plan, operations plan, and financial plan.
    Gather your paperwork:  In addition to a solid business plan, financial institutions may want to see other legal and financial documentation about your business. This could include profit and loss statements, financial projections, earnings reports, tax returns, bank statements, and other documentation supporting your business information. In addition, some lenders may require a certain amount of annual revenue or a minimum length of time in operation for your business.
    Consider alternative lenders: Credit unions and online lenders typically have some of the best deals on financing. The underwriting process with these institutions is often quicker and more simplified than applying through a traditional bank, and interest rates tend to be lower. Some of the most popular credit unions in the state of Georgia include Family Savings Credit Union, IBM Southeast Employees' Federal Credit Union, Navy Federal Credit Union, LGE Community Credit Union, and Peach State Federal Credit Union. Membership is typically based on your place of residency, employment, or education.

As a small business owner in Georgia, there are many resources to help you get the funding you need. However, it’s important to consider the cost of financing. If your business is failing and you don’t see a financial gain in your future, a business loan is not the answer. However, if you have big plans and a business that’s trending upward, but needs more working capital, a business loan can be the answer. When you’re ready to start shopping for the best business loan, visit Primerates.

Compare rates and get funded

We encourage you to take the time to research all of your options and find the loan that will help your business grow and succeed. If you’re a small business owner in Georgia, it’s worth considering a small business loan. Loans can give your business the boost it needs to grow and succeed. At PrimeRates, we work with a variety of lenders who offer loans for businesses of all sizes. WIthin a few minutes you can receive personalized business loan offers that you actually qualify for - all without impacting your credit score. Say goodbye to the days of window shopping interest rates and unlock offers that you can actually take advantage of. 

Unlock competitive small business loans in Georgia. . . check offers at Primerates today!

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