Small business owners across all industries can turn to the U.S. Government for financial assistance through several government-supported financing programs. The U.S. Government offers loans and grants for small business owners in an effort to help with the launch of new businesses, business expansions and start-up operations. If you need financial resources to start or run a business venture, you may be eligible to apply for low-interest loans or grants.
Here’s a close look at some of the top government financing programs for small businesses:
Guaranteed Loan Programs through the Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency of the federal government designed to help, counsel and protect the interests of small businesses across all industries. This organization offers several guaranteed loan programs to help small businesses grow and thrive.
The SBA’s primary program is the 7(a) Loan Program. This financing program is designed specifically for start-ups and small businesses, and includes the following loans: Express Programs, Export Loan Programs, Rural Lender Advantage Program and Special Purpose Loans Program.
Other options for small businesses through the SBA are:
– CDC/504 Loan Program: offers long-term, fixed-rate financing for businesses that want to purchase fixed assets for operations.
– Microloan Program: offers up to $35,000 in the form of a short-term loan for small businesses that want to purchase working capital, inventory, supplies and equipment. This program does have several restrictions and limitations.
– Disaster Assistance Loan Program: a low-interest loan program for businesses that want to purchase machinery, equipment, inventory and other assets after the business has encountered a declared disaster.
In addition to applying for a loan through the SBA, small businesses have the opportunity to work with mentors and have access to several entrepreneurial resources through the organization. These can be very valuable for first-time business owners or for small business owners who are getting established in a new state.
Other Government Financing Programs for Small Businesses
Businesses that do not meet the eligibility requirements for an SBA loan still have several other options for financing through the U.S. government. Other government financing programs for small businesses include:
– Disaster Assistance Loans
– Farm and Agricultural Loans
– Export Assistance Loans
– Rural Business Loans
– Loans for Veterans
– Energy Efficiency Loans
– Minority Loans
– Women-Owned Business Loans
Small business owners can visit the Business.gov website to search for loans and grants online. The Loans and Grants Search Tool makes it easy to search and filter through dozens of available financing programs and determine whether the business owner is eligible to apply for certain loans and grants.