Access to Capital
Access to capital/credit is one of the most important issues of interest to businesses according to feedback received by the Alliance. This page is designed to provide information to businesses regarding access to capital including answers to frequently asked questions and links to information regarding access to capital and loan programs. Please see each of the highlighted sections below for more information.
To register to receive additional information regarding access to capital, please click here.
STEPS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR APPLYING FOR LOANS
Applying for Small Business Loans (From business.gov, an official site of the U.S. Small Business Administration)
Government agencies generally do not make loans directly to business owners. The government provides a guaranty to banks and lenders for money lent to small businesses. This guaranty is a promise to pay a portion of the loan back to the bank in case a business owner defaults on the loan. A guaranty reduces the lender's risk, which allows the lender to make loans to business owners who do not qualify for traditional loans.
So, the first place to start looking for a loan is with your local commercial bank or lending institution. The lender will have all the forms you'll need to apply for a government-backed loan, and will work with the government on the application process.
For information on applying for a loan, a typical business loan application checklist and other information, please click here.
Business Credit Checklist
For a sample checklist of items a bank may require from businesses seeking a loan, please click here.
SAMPLE FINANCING PROGRAMS AVAILABLE IN FLORIDA
GrowFL - Helping Florida Growth Companies Navigate a Fast and Furious Economic Landscape
Has your business grown to a point where you need to think about better defining your strategy, developing your management team, identifying new markets and understanding your competition? Maybe you have been working in your business and realize it is time to step back and work ON your business. The GrowFL program supports the growth of Florida businesses by providing a free suite of economic gardening support services, as well as unique access to market research and technology.
For more information on the GrowFL program, please go to http://www.growfl.com/.
To download a GrowFL program flyer, please click here.
Florida Venture Capital: Florida Opportunity Fund
The Florida Opportunity Fund is a "fund of funds" established by Enterprise Florida and managed by Florida First Partners. For more information, please visit www.floridaopportunityfund.com.
Florida Venture Capital: List of Firms
A list of Florida's Venture Capital Firms is available for download as an Excel file from Florida Trend. For more information, please click here.
Florida Growth Fund
Established in 2009 to enhance Florida's capacity for growth and innovation, this fund has $250 million under management. For more information, please visit www.floridagrowthfund.com.
Florida Export Finance Corporation
Created in 1993 by the State of Florida to increase financing for exporting of goods and services, this organization provides access to direct loans up to $50,000 or loan guarantees up to $500,000 to small and medium-sized businesses. For more information, please visit www.dos.state.fl.us/fefc/.
Florida First Capital Finance Corp.
Founded by the State of Florida and licensed since 1984 by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)(FFCFC) is chartered for the primary purpose of promoting and assisting the growth and development of small business by assisting with the SBA 504 and 7A loan programs as well as the Florida Recycling Loan Program. For more information, please visit www.ffcfc.com.
Florida Mezzanine Fund
The Florida Mezzanine Fund provides business owners access to mezzanine loans for privately held, mid-market growth companies. For more information, please visit http://www.floridamezz.com/.
Industrial Revenue Bonds
Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRBs) provide a source of long-term, sub-prime market financing of capital requirements for relocating or expanding manufacturing and tax exempt 501(c)3 facilities. IRBs are securities issued by local governments or government agencies for the purpose of financing the capital costs of private and not-for-profit projects. Several examples of capital costs that can be financed are land acquisition and construction costs, the acquisition of a building and a minimum renovation of 15% of the facility, as well as machinery and equipment. For more information, please call the Broward County Office of Economic and Small Business Development Commercial/Industrial Development Manager at 954-357-5788.
City of Hollywood Economic Lenders Partnership (H.E.L.P) Financial Consortium
The H.E.L.P. Financial Consortium is a cutting-edge public/private partnership consisting of a group representing traditional and non-traditional lending institutions who have joined forces with the City of Hollywood to streamline access to capital to Hollywood businesses. The lending institutions on the consortium include Accion USA, MetroBroward, Regions Bank, Wachovia Bank and the South Florida Regional Planning Council. The consortium seeks to attract and retain businesses that will increase economic development opportunities for the City while enhancing the quality of life for residents.
A business owner can submit a single loan application to the H.E.L.P. Financial Consortium to be reviewed by representatives of several financial institutions. This process allows business owners to have multiple lending institutions review their application without the business owner’s credit score being negatively impacted by numerous inquiries to credit reporting agencies. The H.E.L.P. application process is outlined below:
• Download an application from the Office of Business and International Trade’s web site at www.hollywoodfl.org/economic_dev/index.htm, pick-up an application packet at City Hall, 2600 Hollywood Boulevard, Room 422 or request an application packet be mailed to you.
• Return the completed loan application packet with all requested supporting documentation by mail or deliver to City Hall, Office of Business and International Trade, 2600 Hollywood Boulevard, Room 422, Hollywood, FL 33022.
• H.E.L.P. members will meet monthly to review loan applications and determine whether one or more of the consortium members is interested in making a loan.
• After the review, the business loan applicant will be notified of the status of his or her loan application by the City’s Office of Business and International Trade.
For additional information, please contact the Office of Business and International Trade at 954-921-3388.
BUSINESS ASSISTANCE RESOURCES PROVIDING FINANCING
Metro Broward Economic Development Corporation
Metro Broward offers alternative financing through credit enhancement to minorities who cannot obtain conventional loans. For more information, please visit http://www.metrobroward.org/Who+We+Are.10.lasso.
South Florida Regional Planning Council Revolving Loan Fund
The SFRPC Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) provides business financing for eligible projects within Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe counties. The loans are designed to meet the credit needs of businesses not entirely served by conventional lenders while at the same time encouraging lenders to complete project financing by allowing these funds to fill the gap. For more information, please visit http://www.sfrpc.com/rlf.htm.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Loan Guarantee Program
Banks and other lending institutions offer a number of SBA guaranteed loan programs to assist small businesses. While SBA itself does not make loans, it does guarantee loans made to small businesses by private and other institutions. For more information, please visit http://www.sba.gov/financialassistance/borrowers/guaranteed/.
Export-Import Bank of the United States
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is the official export credit agency of the United States. Ex-Im Bank's mission is to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets. Ex-Im Bank enables U.S. companies — large and small — to turn export opportunities into real sales that help to maintain and create U.S. jobs and contribute to a stronger national economy. For more information, please visit http://www.exim.gov/index.cfm.
EX-IM Bank Export Working Capital Program
Ex-Im Bank's working capital financing enables U.S. exporters to obtain loans that facilitate the export of goods or services. These working capital loans, made by commercial lenders and backed by Ex-Im's guarantee, provide exporters with the liquidity to accept new business, grow their international sales and compete more effectively in the international marketplace. To learn more about this program, please click here to download information from Citibank.
Wells Fargo Works for Business
To access information about a variety of services and financing options available to small businesses, please click here.
American Express Open Forum
To access information about a number of topics that will help small businesses, please click here.
For a listing of other small business loan programs across the U.S. in addition to SBA programs, please go to http://www.businessloanfunds.com/.