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Illinois is one of the country’s top economic centers, and a small business loan can help your company rise to the top!
Illinois is home to Chicago, one of America’s largest metropolises, but the entire state’s economy is excellent for small businesses. The state has fairly high business taxes, but many entrepreneurs think that access to Illinois’s terrific customer base is well worth it, not to mention that a business in Illinois can set you up to reach consumers across the Midwest. And a business loan can be a major help along the way.
Small Business Administration loans, especially 7(a) loans, are popular lending opportunities for entrepreneurs because the loans are backed by the federal government, although they are serviced by private lenders.
A line of credit is a form of financing where you pay for business expenses on credit (up to a pre-agreed limit arranged between a financier and your business), then you repay the balance of these purchases over time.
With a term loan, a lender disburses the entire amount of the loan into your business’s bank account, after a robust application process. You then repay the loan, plus interest and fees, in monthly repayments over several years.
In an equipment financing situation, you agree to pay for the cost of equipment your business needs in monthly installments over several years, typically the lifespan of the equipment in question. It’s a popular option because you get to use the equipment right away, instead of waiting until you have the capital to buy it outright.
If you are owed money because of unpaid invoices, you can actually use them as collateral for a loan by applying for accounts receivable financing.
Several local organizations provide small business funding resources in Illinois.
Advantage Illinois is a terrific option throughout the Land of Lincoln, aimed at accelerating and expanding business loan options. A long list of lenders service the loans, which utilize federal funds earmarked for the state’s Advantage Illinois program.
The non-profit Community Reinvestment Fund has been operating in Illinois for over 25 years and offers loan options with great rates for entrepreneurs, especially those working in traditionally underserved areas.
Illinois Bank & Trust works with businesses to provide small business financing across the state. It offers SBA loans, including SBA 7(a), SBA 504, and SBA Express loans.
Based in Chicago, Byline Bank is a top five SBA lender that offers SBA 7(a), SBA 504, and SBA CAPLines to small business across the state.
Founded in Chicago, Village Bank and Trust offers various loan products including SBA 7(a), SBA 504, and SBA Express loans.
First Mid Bank & Trust is a Preferred SBA Lender that offers SBA 7(A) and SBA 504 loans to small business across Illinois.
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The Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Activity has many resources for entrepreneurs, including a step-by-step guide to setting up shop in the Prairie State. The agency even has a business feasibility checklist tailored to your area. There are several Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) offices in Illinois, which are centers for business planning help, resources, and networking assistance, all run with funding from the SBA. The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) provides a wealth of resources for women entrepreneurs. The WBDC is a nationwide organization, but is particularly active in Illinois because it was founded in Chicago, and its headquarters are still located there.
For small business grants in Illinois, first check out USGrants.org, which keeps an updated list of current grant options and requirements for the entire state. The Small Business Improvement Fund is a program operated by the City of Chicago that provides grants for small businesses. The Neighborhood Improvement Fund is another popular granting program for businesses located in covered neighborhoods.
To qualify for an Illinois loan, first determine your business’ structure—a sole proprietorship or corporation, for example. Depending on the structure, you might need to register with the Secretary of State. Once you are set up, you can apply for small business loans. Generally, lenders will base decisions on your business plans, your business’s history, and your business’ credit score.
Determining the type of loan for your Illinois business must be based on multiple factors, like your company’s upcoming business strategies, how much money you need to realize your plans, and your location. Typically, larger loans with lower interest rates are ideal for consistently growing your company over the years, but the repayment period will also be very long, and the approval process can be more burdensome than those of alternative forms of financing. To see what your small business loan options are, try out the free, easy-to-use Lendio platform.
Illinois has a bustling economy and is a regional capital for the entire Midwest, so a business loan can help your Illinois business harness the state’s commercial and geographic advantages. Business loans can help you expand by empowering you to open new locations, reach new customers, and hire great talent.
An SBA preferred lender is a lender that’s been approved by the Small Business Administration to administer SBA loans without additional approvals from the SBA. Typically these lenders have years of experience and can approve SBA loans faster than non-preferred lenders.
SBA loans are backed by the government and offer lower interest rates than other types of small business loans. They typically require a minimum time in business of two years and a credit score of 650+.
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