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Maryland earned the title of “Old Line State” for the heroic fighting of its troops during the Revolutionary War. Today, Maryland’s regiment of small businesses—supported with loans from a sizable legion of banks, credit unions, and nonprofit institutions—deserves the same recognition of strength in the state’s economy.
Lenders in Maryland know how to structure loans for small businesses engaged in healthcare, professional services, construction, real estate, retail, and high-tech manufacturing. Long-term loans can be arranged for purchases of fixed assets, short-term loans, or revolving lines of credit to meet working capital needs.
Business owners like loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration because they usually have lower interest rates and more lenient repayment terms. The SBA issues partial guarantees for loans made by lenders through the SBA programs. These guarantees enable lenders to offer better interest rates and more favorable extended terms. The SBA offers both long-term and short-term loans.
A line of credit is useful to have when you need a temporary source of funds to fill a cash flow deficit as a result of increases in inventory or receivables. The current assets are used as collateral, and the loan is repaid when cash flow becomes positive as receivables are collected and inventory goes down.
If you need money to purchase an expensive piece of equipment or machinery or to fund a longer-term marketing program, a term loan is the solution. Term loans usually require some type of collateral or personal guarantee and are repaid with fixed installments over several years.
Equipment purchases can be financed with either loans or leases. Equipment loans may require a small down payment, and the equipment itself is used as collateral. Repayments are made with fixed terms over several years. Equipment leases don’t typically require a down payment and are useful to finance equipment where the technology changes frequently, such as computer hardware and software.
Lenders can use your accounts receivable as collateral to make cash advances if you need the funds before your clients’ invoice due dates. Lenders will make an immediate advance up to a certain percentage of the invoice amount, and you will receive the balance when your client pays. Quite often, your clients may have a stronger credit status than your business, which makes it easy to get approved for accounts receivable financing.
Bankers, credit unions, and numerous nonprofit financial institutions in the Old Line State support small businesses with a wide variety of loan programs. Lenders like to support the growth and development of small businesses because it increases the economic basis of the community and adds jobs.
Maryland Economic Adjustment Fund (MEAF) provides loans for underserved businesses with fewer than 50 employees to upgrade their operations, increase working capital, purchase real estate, or expand their markets.
Maryland Resource-based Industry Financing Fund (MRBIFF) works with local vendors to provide low-interest loans for farmers to purchase land or capital equipment.
Neighborhood Business Works offer flexible financing to new and existing businesses located in older commercial districts or town centers.
In Baltimore City, Baltimore Business Lending offers microloans for small business owners with credit issues or insufficient collateral. BBL gives special consideration to women- and minority-owned businesses.
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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.
Once you choose a card, you can get approved in as little as 7-10 days.
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In addition to the traditional lending resources, there are other organizations in Maryland that provide programs to assist new businesses with their financing and managerial needs.
The Maryland Small Business Development Center offers free consulting and training for small business owners and also assists a network for owners in connecting with lenders. At Mid-Maryland SCORE, business owners can get guidance and advice from experienced executives and corporate managers.
In addition to loans, small business owners in Maryland can also take advantage of various grants. The governor’s office of Maryland maintains a list of grants available from the state and private foundations. For federal grants available to Maryland businesses, you can search the website Grants.gov.
When you first set up your business, you’ll have to decide what type of business structure you intend to use. You can begin as a sole proprietorship, or you could start out by incorporating or setting up a limited liability company (LLC). If you’re incorporating or forming an LLC, you’ll need to register the name with the Maryland Department of Commerce.
Before you complete and submit an application, find out what documentation your lender needs. To increase your chances of getting your loan approved, you will want to present documentation that clearly states the purpose of the loan, how you intend to pay them back, and the collateral that will be used to secure the loan.
If you need the funds to purchase a fixed asset, such as equipment or real estate, you want to go for a long-term loan with the payments distributed over several years. If you need the funds to finance current assets or working capital, a line of credit or some other type of short-term loan,—such as advances against your accounts receivable—would be the best way to go. Repayments for both long-term loans and short-term loans should coincide with your cash flow. Online platforms, such as Lendio, have financial advisors who can help you assess the best financing instrument for your business, based on your needs.
Borrowing money to support the growth and development of your business is necessary to reach an acceptable return on your investment. Initial capital is often not enough to fund the operations of a business and provide a financing basis to support growth. Lenders exist with the mission to make loans to small businesses to expand their economic base and increase employment. Your business will be able to grow faster when you have working relationships with banks and credit unions helping you along the way.
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