For Andy Fiscella, owner of the Dime, a bar and lounge in Los Angeles, merchant cash advances have saved his small business on more than one occasion. Fiscella, also an actor, compares running his small business to being a player on the Hollywood scene. One day you are in demand, and the next you are seriously struggling. It’s hard to know when you’re going to take a major hit.

Fiscella’s bar was one of many businesses that was hit hard after the financial crisis of 2008. However, Fiscella found a way to not only save his business, but to help it to thrive. Through the help of a small business lender, Fiscella secured a merchant cash advance to give his business a second chance and the capital it needed to get back on its feet.

Through the deal he made, he was able to secure money quickly and pay it back through his business’ future credit card sales. If the business ended up failing down the road, not a dime would be required to be paid back – unlike a small business loan from a bank. This type of deal is known as a merchant cash advance.

Merchant cash advances have grown in popularity in recent years. Why? Business that are struggling are often categorized as “high risk” by traditional lending sources. As a result, businesses are denied their services. Thankfully, alternative lending sources have stepped in to offer their services to struggling small businesses as well as startups. The main focus of a merchant cash advance is to help small, solid businesses that are in need of quick access to capital.

Technically, the business is not receiving money by taking out a loan. It is actually selling a portion of its future credit card sales. Small business loans involve strict credit requirements, long wait times for funding, complicated contracts and extensive documentation. Merchant cash advances, on the other hand, are much friendlier. Credit scores below 500 are approved, you can receive your funds 72 hours from application, no tax returns or financials are required and the programs are simple and flexible. It is easy to see why merchant cash advances are quickly becoming popular with small businesses for the “breathing” room they provide.

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