The number of small business owners that have needed funding this year has been staggering. As the COVID-19 pandemic swept the nation, even businesses in stronger-than-most financial positions found themselves desperately in need of extra capital. Not for big plans or expansion goals, but for day-to-day operating costs and investments in new necessities like remote working teams.

If your business is one of the many that is still in need of cash, the key is research. During such a stressful, overwhelming time, it’s easier to jump in with the first lender that will accept you. However, if you want to ensure your business’ future financial health and survival, it’s important to take your time. Make sure you are choosing the most appropriate lender for your business type and industry.

Here is a complete breakdown of some of the top options available today, and tips for funding your business:

Merchant cash advance

This incredibly fast cash solution continues to grow in popularity. One of the top reasons why is due to who these lenders are willing to work with. While traditional lenders turn many business types and industries away, providers of merchant cash advance are experienced at partnering with “high risk” businesses, providing services tailored to their needs, and do not shy away from credit issues, high chargeback rates and other issues these businesses encounter. Merchants can secure cash in as little as 24 hours.

Invoice factoring

If you sell a product or service that requires you to bill your customers, you are likely eligible for this financing tool. This option allows you to sell unpaid invoices in exchange for immediate capital. In some cases, you can have cash in your business’ bank account in just a few days. Because the factoring company is more concerned with the creditworthiness of customers, even businesses that have less than stellar credit usually have luck in qualifying for this cash solution. Just make sure you partner with a factor that allows you to maintain complete control of your business’ invoices.

Working capital loan

Typically, this funding option is secured to cover a business’ day-to-day operating needs; it allows business owners to quickly boost cash flow to cover payroll, rent, inventory, marketing campaigns and other operational costs. You can also use this cash to address cash flow gaps, seasonal lulls or to finance new equipment. However, unlike the first two options, qualifying for a working capital loan often requires substantial personal guarantees and collateral (depending on the lender).  

Equipment financing

As implied, this type of funding goes towards investing in machinery, vehicles and other equipment. If your business relies heavily on specialized machinery or equipment for daily operations (e.g. factories and tucking companies), this option may be right for you. The qualifying criteria will differ from lender to lender, but most will offer this as a loan option. The advantages of this type of financing is that it allows you to buy or lease the tools you need, while also preserving cash flow for other needs.

Microloans

Were you aware that the SBA is not the only lender that offers microloans? Many online lenders today – even traditional banks – extend this option. In fact, more lenders are providing a smaller startup loan version that is becoming incredibly popular with entrepreneurs. The key is to make sure the lender you are working with understands your industry and its unique challenges and needs. Also, keep in mind that microloans generally have a limit of around $50,000.

Need help getting fast, flexible business funding? The experts at First American Merchant have many years of experience working with a long list of business types and industries. Our business funding programs can have money in your bank in as little as 72 hours.

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