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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
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.
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.
SBA Gets Additional Money to Support Loans
Pompano Bank Gets Funding - September 2, 2011 - Miami Herald Florida Briefs
Treasury Fund Aims to Help Small Business (From Sun Sentinel - April 8, 2011 - By Marcia Heroux Pounds)
A new U.S. Treasury fund is being offered to push community banks toward more small business lending. The $30 billion fund, part of the Small Business Jobs Act, is open to banks with assests of less than $10 billion. The design provides a key incentive missing from previous federal government initiatives to stir lending. To read entire story, please click here.
Are You Ready for Venture Investors? You'll Have to Prove it First (From South Florida Business Journal - February, 2011 - By Bruce Rector)
Many early-stage companies seek outside investment capital in order to grow the company through additional infrastructure – both physical and human resources. I have met many companies through the years that eagerly sought funding and could explain why they deserved funding.
Passion is admirable, but regardless of how passionate you might feel about the opportunity the company is addressing, there are several criteria that management should consider in assessing the probability that they will actually be successful in attracting outside capital. Remember that any outside investor is going to take a very hard look at facts before deciding to invest. To read entire story, please click here.
Bands of Angels (From Florida Trend - October, 2010)
Local groups of investors are forming all over Florida, providing funding to capital-starved emerging companies.
In April 2008, Craig Reilly was ready to take the next step. His Orlando firm, Plus-One Solutions, which provides background checks and other business services for companies that use independent contractors, was off the ground and had a major customer lined up. Reilly and his two partners had gotten the company that far with their own money but had begun looking for investors to fund more growth.
Reilly turned to a group called the Winter Park Angels — an organization comprised of affluent local residents who had come together to fund local startups and emerging companies like his. "I was looking for more than just a money investment," Reilly says. "I was looking for knowledge and contacts, for people who could help us in other ways than just cash."
Five months later, 19 members of the angel group had invested a total of $750,000. Reilly was able to expand even as the financial markets crashed and financing options evaporated for most other businesses. Plus-One Solutions has met its growth targets and is about to undergo another financing round to fund more expansion. The angels will participate again. "It's become even better than what we were investing in before," says Allan Keen, the angels representative on PlusOne's board. To read entire story, please click here.
Small Business Jobs Act of 2010
On Sept. 27, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Small Business Jobs Act, the most significant piece of small business legislation in over a decade. The new law will provide critical resources to help small businesses continue to drive economic recovery and create jobs. The new law extends the successful SBA enhanced loan provisions while offering billions more in lending support, tax cuts, and other opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
The New Law Puts More Capital in the Hands of Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners:
Additional SBA Programs
1. State STEP Grants for Exporting
SBA is inviting states and U.S. territories to apply for $30 million in grants that can be used in a variety of ways to help increase exporting by small businesses. SBA began accepting applications on March 27. The State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) grant initiative, launched under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, is a pilot grant program authorizing up to $90 million in grants to the states and U.S. territories over three years to help them increase the number of businesses that export, and increase the value of small businesses exports as well. In fiscal year 2011, the STEP program awarded 52 grants totaling $30 million. The average grant was for $577,000. More information can be found on SBA’s website: click here.
2. Early Stage Innovation Funds
SBA is inviting experienced early stage investment fund managers to apply for licensing as Early Stage Innovation Funds as part of its Small Business Investment Company capital investment program. Licensed Early Stage Innovation Funds can receive SBA-guaranteed funding to match their privately raised capital up to a maximum of $50 million. Early Stage Innovation Funds must invest at least 50 percent of their investment dollars in early stage small businesses. A fact sheet on this program can be found on SBA’s website: click here.
3. Intermediary Lending Pilot Program
The Intermediary Lending Pilot Program (ILP) provides long-term loans to eligible non-profit intermediary lenders to finance their lending to small businesses. Small businesses, especially those in underserved markets looking for loans up to $200,000, will soon have access to twice as many community-based funding sources under the SBA program. Launched last year under the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the Intermediary Lending Pilot Program is designed to expand access to capital to small businesses and drive economic growth and job creation. Under the program, SBA makes loans of up to $1 million to participating lenders, which use the funds to make smaller loans to startup, newly established and growing small businesses. SBA anticipates that an ILP Intermediary will relend its ILP Loan funds approximately 2.5 times over the 20-year term. The program funded 20 ILP Intermediaries in 2011, and hopes to identify another 20 this year in the second round. More information can be found on SBA’s website: click here.
Please click here for additional SBA programs and information.
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/.
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