America’s SBDC Blog

A “Forbes 100 Best Websites for Entrepreneurs”

Second Stimulus Eases Lending Terms, Creating a Buyer’s Market

February 16, 2021
By FranNet – 

The recently signed second stimulus package includes several provisions that should make it easier than ever for qualified buyers to access capital through the Small Business Administration (SBA) for starting a new business. We spoke with our friends at Benetrends Financial regarding the details of the new package and the impact it will have on entrepreneurs considering owning a business.

Eric Schechterman, Chief Development Officer at Benetrends Financial, said, “While the lending environment continues to rebound and lenders continue to adapt what they are looking for from borrowers these provisions should have a huge impact in 2021.” Not to be confused with specific Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan details, here is the information buyers need to know about enhanced borrowing opportunities with the SBA: Click To Tweet (more…)

America’s SBDCs Publish Annual Report after a Challenging Year

February 8, 2021

Annual ReportServing more than half a million small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs in Fiscal Year 2020, America’s Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) rose to the occasion during a time of unprecedented challenges.

From the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, America’s SBDCs were on the job. Providing free, one-to-one business consulting and free or at-cost business training, SBDC consultants, trainers and staff helped America’s small businesses — and the communities they serve — adapt and survive.

As one SBDC client described it, “I was trying to keep it together but panicking! Then a friend recommended I talk with the Alabama SBDC. I talked to my advisor an hour and a half the first time I called her. She was also a small business owner and knew what a state of mind I was in. She has ended up advising me on every step and has even kept me ahead of the game, giving me information as she learns it.” — small business owner and chef Yanni Tempelis, who worked with her local SBDC to secure PPP funds and help save her business. The America’s SBDC Annual Report showcases the work of the 62 state and regional SBDCs that form America’s nationwide network of SBDCs. Click To Tweet

From helping small businesses address the Covid-19 crisis to serving America’s veterans, women-owned businesses, underserved communities and young entrepreneurs, to promoting technology development, exports and rural development, America’s SBDCs show why they are America’s largest and most trusted network of small business assistance providers. (more…)

Commercial Property Insurance for Small Businesses

December 22, 2020
By Susan Guillory –

As a business owner, one of the many important things you need to consider is business insurance. While there are several types of insurance coverage you might benefit from, one to certainly consider, if you own business property, is commercial property insurance.

What is Commercial Property Insurance?

Just like you might have homeowner’s insurance or coverage for personal assets, you can get commercial property insurance to protect any business property you own from things like theft, fire, vandalism, and storms.

What is Covered Under Commercial Property Insurance?

The first thing that comes to mind when you think of business property is probably the real estate you own or lease for your business. That certainly can be covered by a commercial property policy, but coverage can also include: (more…)

Doing Business As (DBA): What is a DBA, How to File as a DBA

December 15, 2020
By Ty Kiisel –

If you’ve ever asked, “What is a DBA?” this article is for you. The short answer is, a “Doing Business As” is when the name under which a business operates is different from its legal, registered name. A DBA may also be called a trade Name.

Why Would a Business Choose a DBA?

There are reasons why a business would choose a fictitious name (another term for a DBA). A sole proprietor or partner might choose a DBA so they can operate with a typical business name without the need to create a formal legal entity (like an LLC or a corporation). For example, John Smith, a plumber, might choose to operate under the name of Eveready Plumbing. He’d need a DBA to do that. If John wanted to run his business under the name of John Smith’s Plumbing, he wouldn’t need one.

If your business was a corporation or a limited liability company (LLC) and wanted to operate the business under a name that is different from the name of the corporation or LLC, you would need a DBA. For example if John Smith & Joe Bonanza LLC wanted to operate as Mount Olympus Real Estate Investment Company, they would need one.

(more…)

The 5 C’s of Credit

December 8, 2020
By Ty Kiisel –

Small business owners looking for a loan need to understand the way their creditworthiness is evaluated to put their best foot forward — understanding the 5 C’s of Credit can help. As a general rule, there are three questions for which lenders need the answers:

1. Can you repay a loan?
2. Will you repay a loan?
3. What will you do if something unexpected happens?

Lenders might not ask them this way, but today I’d like to share with you the 5 metrics many lenders use to judge your answers.

Generally speaking, lenders are pretty risk averse (although some have a higher risk tolerance than others). I remember an economics class I attended many years ago where the instructor made it a point to make sure we understood the test questions, and the answers, before a big test. Our grade depended on how well we answered the questions, not simply if we got the answers right. He wanted us to be prepared and learn.

It might be a stretch to compare my economics class with applying for a small business loan, but understanding what the banker (or any other lender) is looking for, and judging your loan application against, might make it easier to answer the questions well and get your loan application approved. (more…)