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In 1776, the United States declared its independence from Britain. A hundred years later, Colorado became the 38th state in 1876, thereby earning its official nickname as the “Centennial State.” Since that time, small businesses—with the help of loans from their lenders and other financial organizations—have been responsible for developing the Centennial State into an economic powerhouse.
The Centennial State has small businesses engaged in agriculture, tourism, technology, mining, and retail. The lenders in Colorado understand the characteristics of these industries and have experience in making all types of long-term and short-term loans to these businesses.
Loans made through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are popular in Colorado because of their low interest rates and flexible terms. Lenders like to make SBA Loans because the partial government guarantee reduces their risks. The SBA has programs for both short- and long-term loans.
Lines of credit are very flexible and can be used to help manage a business that has working capital and cash flow. With a line of credit, you can receive an advance at any time, and you only pay interest on the amount you borrow.
With a term loan, you receive all of the funds up front. Term loans can be used to purchase fixed assets, fund expansions, and pay for marketing programs. Loans are repaid in fixed installments over several years.
Most businesses use some types of equipment in their work, whether it’s vehicles to deliver products or machinery and equipment used in manufacturing. Equipment loans enable the borrower to conserve their capital by spreading the payment over a few years.
A business’ accounts receivable can be used as collateral to get immediate cash advances, instead of having to wait until customers pay their invoices. Lenders will typically advance from 70% to 90% of the invoice value, with the balance paid when the customer pays their invoice.
The Centennial State has a variety of lenders, banks, credit unions, and nonprofit institutions who are experienced in making loans to small businesses, especially those that add to the economic base and create jobs for the community.
Colorado Startup Loan Fund makes loans available to small businesses that are unable to obtain financing from traditional lenders.
Colorado Lending Source focuses on making loans to small businesses using the SBA 504 Loan program.
Colorado Enterprise Fund is a nonprofit organization that uses donated funds to finance small businesses that accelerate community growth.
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See which credit cards you qualify for before choosing the one that best suits your business needs and offers the cash rewards you’re looking for.
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In addition to receiving financial support from Colorado’s lenders, small businesses have other resources that can help them expand and develop their businesses.
SCORE is an organization made up of volunteer, retired executives who can provide free consulting advice, training, and guidance to small businesses. The Colorado Small Business Development Center has offices spread across the state that can help small business owners find loans, raise equity capital, and network with other businesses to expand their revenue base.
Small businesses in Colorado can apply to several Grant programs to get free money instead of loans.
The Advanced Industries Early-stage Capital and Retention Grant Program helps small businesses with advanced technologies to create and develop their products in Colorado. The Colorado Office of Economic Development sponsors the Collaborative Infrastructure Grant program to provide funds for infrastructure development of innovative technology businesses.
Small business owners can also check the federal website, Grants.gov, to learn about any other grants that might be available for their industry and state.
Your first step before applying for a loan is to decide on a business structure for your company. If you have only yourself or a few employees, a sole proprietorship may be acceptable in the beginning. In this case, you will need only to register your company’s name with the clerk of the county. If you prefer to incorporate or create a limited liability company (LLC), you’ll need to check for name availability with the Colorado Secretary of State and, if available, register with the state.
To make your lender feel comfortable when approving a loan for you, you want to assure them that you have carefully thought out how the funds will be used and have developed an ironclad plan showing how the loan will be repaid. This means presenting a carefully detailed need and justification for the loan and estimates for the cost assets being financed, such as quotes for machinery or equipment, cash flow projections, and a plan to pay back the loan, even if things don’t go as expected.
The choice of which type of loan you need depends on the purpose of the loan. Long-term loans are used to finance the acquisition of fixed assets, such as equipment or real estate. Short-term loans are used to finance working capital and the company’s cash flow cycle. Quite often, short-term loans can be a line of credit or simple one-time loans with maturities of 30 or 60 days. It all depends on the ups and downs of your cash flow.
Online marketplaces, such as Lendio, have experienced financial advisors who can analyze your particular situation and structure a loan that fits your needs exactly.
It’s rare for a company to have enough startup capital to begin operations and finance its growth. At some point, most small businesses need to borrow money to finance their expansion and development. Taking on a prudent amount of debt makes sense because the owner doesn’t have to give up any ownership to attract outside investors, and the cost of borrowing is cheaper than an investor’s required return on capital.
Borrowing money is the correct decision as long as the owner maintains a comfortable balance of debt to equity.
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