In Record Numbers, Business Owners Say it's an Ideal Time to Expand

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Optimism is reaching new heights in the small business world, with 32% of business owners saying that now is a good time to expand - a higher number than all quarterly readings since 1973, according to a new survey by the National Federation of Independent Business.

29% of business owners plan to increase capital spending and 20% plan to hire employees, the survey reports.

Read the entire article here.

SourceFunding.org makes it easy for small business owners to match with and apply to high-quality lenders so that they can continue to expand and create jobs. Our unprecedented national network of 14,000 community banks and credit unions ensures that you can find the best match for your business. Create your free Funding Profile here.

Protecting Community Banks From Consolidation

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Consolidation in the banking industry may reap rewards for investors, but it also restricts access to financial services for many communities throughout the United States.

Community banks support many geographic areas underserved by larger banks; more than 16 million people, or one in three counties, rely exclusively on local banks and have no physical access to large banks, according to American Banker. Local banks fund over 60% of small business loans, while holding only 20% of all banking assets.

“Community banks are not only more highly capitalized than larger institutions and therefore better equipped for economic downturns, but their local focus and accountability make them distinctly pro-consumer. These local institutions operate a relationship-based business model that incentivizes customer service and stewardship... [they] reinvest their proceeds into the communities in which they operate, promoting economic growth that begins at the local level,” American Banker reports.

Read the entire article here.

SourceFunding.org recognizes the value of trustworthy community lenders - our Responsible Finance Network includes 14,000 of them in all 50 states. We provide the transparent alternative to predatory online lenders by matching you with high-quality, low-cost financing. Create your free Funding Profile to start matching today.

Establishing Credit History for Immigrants: Uncovering an Untapped Market

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Recent immigrants to the United States face an enormous hurdle to building a new life: a nonexistent credit history.

Credit cards, bank loans, cars and real estate all require a solid credit score, and yet immigrants arrive with a blank slate in the American credit score system, regardless of their financial history abroad.

“You could be a billionaire in Australia, come over here and try to apply for a credit card. You're probably going to get rejected if you have no credit footprint in this country,” says Lend Academy founder Peter Renton.

A number of FinTech companies have evolved to serve this overlooked market and maximize opportunities for foreigners to contribute to the American economy. Nova Credit estimates that 10 million immigrants in the past decade would be categorized as prime to super prime if their international credit records were accessible.

Read the entire article here.

Small businesses have the power to be a catalyst of transformation for our communities – and our economy. SourceFunding.org is committed to offering America's underserved communities access to low-cost, high-quality and transparent financing. Our common application and matchmaking software help connect individuals, businesses and nonprofits with our Responsible Finance Network™ of 14,000 community banks, credit unions and economic development organizations. Click here to create your free Funding Profile.

 

Integrating FinTech and Community Banks

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Community lenders are increasingly finding success in blending the speed and efficiency of financial technology with the personal connection and attention of community banks, according to a new article in American Banker.

"Small-business owners typically want to do business with local financial institutions. At the same time, they don’t want to subject themselves to a longer and clunkier process,” Joel Pruis of Cornerstone Advisors says. Small business owners are “on the go and like to do things digitally, but they also like to have that face-to-face option as well.”

Chicago’s Marquette Bank successfully digitized its lending process and saw its credit memo creation time shorten by 25%.

Read the entire article here.

SourceFunding.org is where FinTech and InfoTech intersect with small business lending: our platform provides access to a national network of 14,000 community lenders. Our cutting-edge matchmaking technology and Universal Application match you with the best financing and help you apply with ease. Our Funding Advocate team offers personal assistance, guiding you through the application process and connecting you with the right financing for your business. Create your free Funding Profile here.

A Beginner’s Guide to SBA Loans

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Understanding the many financing options available is essential for entrepreneurs looking to expand their business. ForexTV.com presents an introduction to Small Business Administration loans, which can be a good option for business owners who have already been turned down for a loan application

Read the entire article here.

Create your free Funding Profile today to talk to a Funding Advocate about SBA loans and get an assessment of the best financing options for your business.

Entrepreneurship Program Launches to Support Latino Business Owners

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The Mexican and Guatemalan consulates in California partnered to create an eight-week entrepreneurship program for Latino entrepreneurs in California.

“We’re told that we are a burden to this country,” said Guatemalan Consul Billy Munoz. “But on the contrary, Latinos are a huge help to the economy. And we are hungry to contribute to our adopted homeland that is the U.S.”

Read the entire article here.

Small businesses have the power to be a catalyst of transformation for our communities – and our economy. SourceFunding.org is committed to offering America's underserved communities access to low-cost, high-quality and transparent financing. Our common application and matchmaking software help connect individuals, businesses and nonprofits with our Responsible Finance Network™ of 14,000 community banks, credit unions and economic development organizations. Click here to create your free Funding Profile.

Women and Minority-Owned Businesses are Thriving in Houston

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Minority and women business owners are on the rise and inspiring new business initiatives in Houston.

Women-owned businesses in Houston grew 70.4% in the last ten years, boosting their employment by 34.5%, according to the American Express State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.

A 2016 US Census Bureau study found that 30.8% of businesses in the area are owned by minorities, ranking Houston in sixth place of all metropolitan areas in the United States.

Numerous community and business organizations are stepping up to support this surge of small businesses. The Houston Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance offers seminars and courses and fosters community among women entrepreneurs.

“We want the small-business community to know that you’re not out there alone,” WBEA President April Day says. “There are organizations here to support you, and there are small businesses that are going where you’re going and have been where you want to go.”

Read the entire article here.

SourceFunding.org is committed to financial inclusion and leveling the playing field for all entrepreneurs, including underserved communities who haven’t had access to quality financing. Our highest priority is transparency: our network features 14,000 trusted community banks and credit unions, not predatory online lenders.

We advocate for the business owner’s best interest. Our Common Application and matchmaking software make it fast and simple to apply for the financing that’s the best match for your unique business. Create your free Funding Profile here.

Small Businesses are Booming in Chicago

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Eighty-eight percent of Chicago small business owners plan to expand their businesses this year, up from 72% last year, according to the Chicagoland Small Business Economic Outlook Survey.

71% of business owners expect higher revenue in 2018 and 42% plan to hire full-time employees this year.

However, top concerns include hiring skilled employees and managing healthcare and cybersecurity.

Read the entire article here.

SourceFunding.org makes it easy for small business owners to match with and apply to high-quality lenders so that they can expand and create jobs. Our unprecedented national network of 14,000 community banks and credit unions ensures that you can find the best match for your business. Create your free Funding Profile here.

SBA Study Calls For More Community Banks and Credit Unions

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A new study by the Small Business Administration finds that small business lending has grown significantly faster at small banks since the 2008 financial crisis, and encourages the establishment of more community banks and credit unions.

“Regulators should take steps to encourage the formation of new community banks, which are specialists in small business lending,” the study recommends.

Credit unions are also highlighted for their impact in the world of small business lending.

“Credit union lending to small businesses has more than doubled from 2008 to 2016, from $30 billion to $60 billion,” the article reports.

Read the entire article here.

SourceFunding.org recognizes the value of trustworthy community banks and credit unions - our Responsible Finance Network includes 14,000 of them in all 50 states. We provide the transparent alternative to predatory online lenders by matching you with high-quality, low-cost financing. Create your free Funding Profile to start matching today.

Community Banks Key for Small Business in Rural America

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The higher the number of local banks in a rural area, the greater the chances that local businesses have opened or expanded with the help of small business loans, a new Baylor University study reports. The study suggests that the local bank is key to economic development in rural communities.

“It allows local business owners in nonmetropolitan America greater access to the types of capital that often prove most useful and affordable to start and maintain businesses,” writes lead author F. Carson Mencken, Ph.D.

According to Newswise, the benefit of conventional loans “is that they allow businesses to be more flexible and weather sales downturns. They also do not require that business owners invest large portions of their personal savings. That enables owners to maintain a personal reserve to weather the early years of a new business, when profits tend to be small or absent.”

This raises concern due to the sharp downturn of local banks in rural areas - from 80% in 1976 to 20% at present day, as reported by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

Read the entire article here.

SourceFunding.org overcomes geographic barriers and provides access to an unprecedented network of 14,000 trusted community lenders throughout the United States, empowering business owners everywhere to match with quality, low-cost financing to expand their business and help their communities thrive. Create your free funding profile here.

Financing Challenges for Minority Entrepreneurs

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The number of minority-owned small businesses has skyrocketed in the past decade, growing by 79% - ten times faster than the overall growth rate for all small businesses in that time period.

11.1 million businesses in the United States are owned by minorities; yet these communities are drastically underserved in the world of business financing. The Minority Business Development Agency at the Department of Commerce reports that minority-owned firms are much less likely to be approved for business loans, and receive lower amounts and higher interest rates.

“These discrepancies have made minority business owners more likely to not apply for small business loans, usually out of fear of rejection,” reports Jared Weitz of Forbes.

Read the entire article here.

A study from the Center for Global Policy Solutions, based on the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners (SBO), analyzed business owners by race from 2007-2012 and found that firms owned by people of color have contributed a great deal to the U.S. economic recovery following the 2008 financial crisis.  During that five-year period, non-white business owners added more than 72.3% of the jobs created by privately held companies. Nearly all minority entrepreneur groups experienced significant growth in the number of their firms. That’s just a fraction of the potential, according to the report. Discrimination, both past and present, is inhibiting the true growth of these businesses. Without that, an additional 1.1 million businesses could be established and could produce an estimated 9 million more jobs. This would increase the nation’s income by $300 billion.

SourceFunding.org is designed to be the transparent, sustainable, low-cost, and user-centric alternative to predatory online lenders by providing access to financing solutions that are the right fit for each applicant. We compare borrower characteristics against the internal guidelines of thousands of lenders to match small business borrowers with the lenders most prepared to provide high quality financing - improving the chance of success for minority applicants.

Read more about our mission here.

Business Financing Opportunities for Women Entrepreneurs

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Women-owned businesses are expanding rapidly in the United States. In 2017, 11.6 million women-owned businesses employed 9 million people and generated $1.7 trillion, according to the American Express State of Women-Owned Business Report. Revenue among women-owned companies has grown 104% in the past decade and generates more than $1 million each year.

The number of female entrepreneurs applying for loans rose to 29% in 2016, according to Rohit Arora at Forbes.

“Borrowers who previously refrained from borrowing money for expansion or capital improvements re-entered the credit markets. Because the economy has been relatively strong and because interest rates are still quite low, women entrepreneurs have shown a willingness to take on more risk by borrowing money to grow their businesses.”

Arora provides a detailed description of the most popular sources of business financing for women business owners in the US. Read the entire article here.

SourceFunding.org is committed to financial inclusion, streamlining access to quality and low-cost financing for women business owners looking to expand and grow their business.

Ashley Warmington, a student entrepreneur at the Medgar Evers College School of Business, was able to secure a 0% interest loan for $10,000 through SourceFunding.org’s partnership with Kiva. Her AirBnB management company CozyOasis will expand globally into three new countries and create several new jobs in Brooklyn, New York.

Create your funding profile here.

Entrepreneurship is Growing in the US - Especially Among Women

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More than 25 million Americans are launching or operating new businesses in the past two years,  according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2016 United States Report by Babson College.

The influence of women in business is expanding, too - the rate of entrepreneurship among women has grown 1%, while holding steady for male entrepreneurs. Women are innovating more than ever, with 40% of female business owners introducing services or products that are new to consumers and not yet offered by competitors. Overall, Americans are developing new and groundbreaking products at the highest rate in 15 years. 

Read the entire article here.

SourceFunding.org is leveling the playing field for ALL entrepreneurs and small businesses in the US so they can easily find and secure the quality, low-cost and transparent financing they need to expand and create jobs. Our mission: Inclusive Finance. Learn more here

Bringing Down Barriers for Minority Entrepreneurs

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New Jersey established the Urban Plus Program in a new law on Tuesday, which will collaborate with the Economic Development Authority to provide support and access to financing for underserved minority business owners.

The Urban Plus Program is one step forward in addressing a significant problem: lack of access to capital for women and minority small business owners.

“Minority company ownership is up 38 percent over five years. These firms provide 7 million jobs. Hispanics and African-Americans represent 25 percent of the population. Yet only 1 percent of [venture] capital flows to Hispanic or black entrepreneurs. Does anyone honestly believe these communities are the source of just 1 percent of our best business ideas?” SBA administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet asked.

Read the entire article here.

Small businesses have the power to be a catalyst for transformation for our communities, and our economy. SourceFunding.org is committed to financial inclusion and streamlining access to transparent and affordable financing, to help businesses grow and create jobs. Learn more about our mission here.

Smart Strategies for Women Entrepreneurs

Women in business face unique challenges - and author Kerry Hannon at Forbes offers some valuable strategies to help small businesses thrive. Finding mentors, seeking financing, and staying curious are among her tips for developing habits for success.

Hannon’s article also emphasizes the unique strengths women may bring to work: “Many entrepreneurial successes depend on an exquisite form of human understanding and organizational leadership that women have the edge on,” author Michael W. Sonnenfeldt writes.

Read the entire list here.

SourceFunding.org is committed to leveling the playing field for ALL entrepreneurs so they can easily find and secure quality, low-cost and transparent financing to grow their business. Request access here.

The Best States for Female Entrepreneurs in 2018

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Georgia, Florida, Maryland, California and Colorado are the top five states for women entrepreneurs, according to a study by business blog FitSmallBusiness based on statistics on women-owned businesses.

Female business owners are on the rise. “The U.S. is home to over 11.3 million female-owned businesses which employed around nine million people and generated over $1.9 trillion in 2016. Over the last nine years, the number of female-owned businesses has grown five times faster than the national average,” the article states.

FitSmallBusiness analyzed each state based on statistics including percentage of women-owned companies out of total businesses, percentage of business revenues from women-owned companies, and percentage of employees working in women-owned companies.

Read the entire article here.

SourceFunding.org is leveling the playing field for all entrepreneurs, helping them access quality low-cost financing through trusted community lenders throughout the country. See what others are saying about SourceFunding.org here.

Small Business Owners Struggle to Find Financing

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The demand for small business loans is rising, and yet business owners are finding it difficult to obtain bank loans.

Small business demand for financing rose 3.6 percent, from 36.2 to 37.5 in the third quarter, and yet 61% of small business owners reported difficulty in acquiring a loan, according to a study by Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management and Dun & Bradstreet Corp in the Seattle Times. Only 36 percent of small businesses were able to get bank loans in the past three months, compared to 69 percent of mid-size companies.

Read the entire article here.

SourceFunding.org is leveling the playing field for all entrepreneurs and small businesses in the US so they can easily find and secure the quality, low-cost and transparent financing they need to expand and create jobs. Learn more here. 

The Rise of Veteran-Owned Small Businesses

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

In the United States, veterans are a significant force in the world of small businesses. One in four veterans own a small business, a rate that is 7.7% above the national average - that's 2.5 million veteran entrepreneurs. In "The top places in America for veteran small business owners", economist Lucas Puente presents the results of a national survey by Thumbtack and writes,

"The other thing veterans point to as being a catalyst to their success is being part of a supportive community. While every business’ needs are different, being in a place where veteran-owned businesses are valued by clients, bankers, suppliers, and others can help provide a leg up in the potentially harrowing process of starting and growing a small business."

Read the entire article here. 

 

Small businesses are a catalyst of transformation for our communities - as well as the American economy. SourceFunding.org is leveling the playing field for all entrepreneurs, providing unprecedented access to a network of 20,000 community banks for transparent, quality and low-cost financing. Learn more here. 

 

 

Exposing Peer-to-Peer Lending Myths

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The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland has released a new report uncovering the predatory nature of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending services that leave many Americans facing unexpected and dire consequences:

"We find that, on average, borrowers do not use P2P loans to refinance pre-existing loans, credit scores actually go down for years after P2P borrowing, and P2P loans do not go to the markets underserved by the traditional banking system. Overall, P2P loans resemble predatory loans in terms of the segment of the consumer market they serve and their impact on consumers’ finances. Given that P2P lenders are not regulated or supervised for antipredatory laws, lawmakers and regulators may need to revisit their position on online lending marketplaces."

Read the entire report "Three Myths about Peer-to-Peer Loans" here. 

SourceFunding.org is providing the nation's first and only high-quality, low-cost and transparent alternative to these predatory online lenders. We match business owners with financing only from our Responsible Finance Network™ of trusted community banks, credit unions and CDFIs to help them find the right funding from the right source.  Learn more here. 

 

Celebrating National Women's Small Business Month

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Female business owners are on the rise, according to reports by the National Women's Business Council.

October was featured as Women's Small Business Month, marking the 29th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan's signing of the Women's Business Ownership Act, creating the National Women's Business Council and ensuring that banks could no longer require women to have a male co-signer for business loans. Here's a look at some recent progress:

• From 2002 to 2012, women-owned businesses increased at a rate 2.5 times the national average: 52% vs. 20%. Employment in women-owned business grew at a rate 4.5 times the national average: 18% vs. 4%.

• In 2016 there were 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the US, with nearly 9 million employees generating more than $1.6 trillion in revenue.

The report concludes: “The growth of women business enterprises over the last ten years is unprecedented; yet, women still lag behind, in earnings and receipts, and in the amount of venture capital and other forms of equity investment that they receive. This is a unique time, in many ways a perfect storm, and it is imperative that we work harder and faster to unlock the tremendous potential of women business enterprises,” said Carla Harris, Chair, National Women’s Business Council.

SourceFunding.org is committed to leveling the playing field for all small business owners and entrepreneurs in the US, providing unprecedented access to the quality, low-cost and transparent financing they need to expand and create jobs. Our mission: Inclusive finance. 

Click here to view the entire report.