Small business owners on both sides of the District of Columbia flock to the city because of its warm welcome. With so many resources in both Maryland and Virginia for small businesses, you’re set up for success from the start.
How a Small Business Loan Can Help Your DC Business
There are a number of lenders offering small business loans in the DC area. These loans can be used as working capital to purchase items for your company, invest in commercial real estate, hire staff, or pay for marketing. The money you borrow can be a wise investment in the future success of your business.
Types of Small Business Loans to Choose From
Small business loans come in many shapes and sizes, and there are a variety of lenders who cater to every type of business, from startups to existing businesses. You’re sure to find something that fits your needs here.
We’ll start with the loan options that tend to have the lowest interest rates: loans offered by banks, credit unions, and online lenders. To qualify for these types of loans, you’ll need good to excellent credit. Here are a few lenders in the DC area:
- Founders Bank
Another great option with low interest rates is a loan backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA offers a variety of loan programs, including microloans, the 7(a) program, and 504 loans. These lenders offer SBA loans:
Commercial Real Estate Loans
If you’re looking specifically for financing to purchase commercial real estate, there are loans for that purpose. The property you’re purchasing acts as collateral for the loan, which can help you secure lower interest rates. Here are options to explore:
Business Credit Cards
While they’re not loans, per se, having a business credit card or two can ensure you have the ability to purchase what you need for your business. Also paying your business credit card on time each month can help you build your business credit. Here are a few options:
What it Takes to Get Approved for a Small Business Loan
Eligibility will vary depending on the lender and type of loan. Before filling out the loan application, review the criteria to qualify, and only apply for loans you think you qualify for.
In addition to having a certain credit score and time in business, a lender may require you to put up business assets as collateral for the loan. This lowers the lender’s risk: if you are unable to pay the loan, the lender can seize your asset to cover your debt.
How to Choose the Right Loan for Your Washington, DC Small Business
Which loan you choose will depend on your specific needs and qualifications. Aim for the loan with the lowest interest rate that you qualify for, and only borrow what you need. If you borrow too much, you may struggle to pay it back.
Small Business Grant Options for DC
You have another option when it comes to finding the money your business needs. Nonprofit organizations, corporations, and local governments also offer small business grants that you don’t have to pay back. Each has its own criteria to qualify for, and competition may be fierce. Explore these small business grants to start.
Additional Resources for DC Small Businesses
In addition to the small business loans and grant opportunities like those we’ve covered, there are also many free business resources in Washington, DC. These organizations provide assistance and guidance in business development, technical assistance, mentoring, workshops, events, and networking.
- Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD)
- DC Women’s Business Center
- Small Business Resource Center (SBRC)
- District Bridges
- District of Columbia Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
If you’re thinking about starting a business in Washington, DC, come on in; the water’s warm. It’s a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and offers a wealth of resources and financial programs that can help you start a business or take yours to the next level.
This article was originally written on March 16, 2022 and updated on March 21, 2022.