In Pennsylvania, small businesses are important. In fact, they make up nearly all of the total businesses in the state!
But every business needs capital to operate. If you’re experiencing a cash crunch or are looking for working capital to grow your business, small business loans and financial solutions can help.
Pennsylvania Small Business Loans Overview
While there’s often a rosy glow around the idea of bootstrapping a business, often doing so limits a business’s potential. If you’re worried about having enough money to pay your employees each month, you certainly aren’t able to think toward the future to envision how your company could grow.
But that’s exactly where small business loans can help. They provide not only working capital to small business owners in Pennsylvania but also give them peace of mind.
Options for Pennsylvania Small Business Loans
No matter what your financial standing or credit situation, there is a small business financing solution to fit your needs.
COVID-19 Pandemic Loans
It’s hard to find a small business in Pennsylvania that hasn’t suffered because of the coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, the federal government, as well as local governments and private corporations, have created loan programs to help small businesses get back up to normal operations.
At the federal level, there are the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Check to see if these are still accepting applications. Although the current version of the PPP is finished, we’ll keep you updated if they decider to implement another round.
At the state level, there is the COVID-19 Relief Pennsylvania Statewide Small Business Assistance program that, while currently not accepting applications, may open up to them in the future.
For those businesses (and business owners) with very excellent credit scores, one of the best places to find low-interest loans are through banks, credit unions, and some online lenders. These loans may have among the strictest requirements, but if you qualify, you’ll be rewarded with low rates and favorable terms.
Another option for low-interest loans with long repayment periods is a loan offered through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Some of these are specifically for economic development in disadvantaged areas, while others are available to any qualifying small business.
Line of Credit
Don’t need all your funds at once? Consider a line of credit, which you can borrow from and repay whenever you like. You only pay interest on the funds you use and can repay and reuse as often as needed within the term of the credit line.
Some banks won’t loan under a certain amount, so if you just need a few thousand dollars and don’t qualify for an SBA microloan, there are other microloan lenders who will get you access to the cash you need.
Using business credit cards smartly can be a great financial move. Many cards offer 0% APR for the first year, and there are several rewards cards that will let you earn points you can use for travel or cash back. They are also a great option for newer businesses, because they don’t require a long business credit history and will often only review your personal credit score.
If you run a Pennsylvania startup, you may not have built up business credit to qualify for these other options. You can still get what you need with a short-term loan, but be aware that they can have higher interest rates. Depending on your business need, they can be a good option—even if you have a less-than-perfect credit history.
Uses for Pennsylvania Small Business Loans
There are so many things you can use your business financing for. Maybe you just want a little working capital so you can take advantage of opportunities that arise that could grow your business. You could use the funds to expand your staff, make larger inventory orders, or open a second location.
Some loans are for specific purposes, such as an equipment or a commercial auto loan. Make sure the financing you’re considering doesn’t have restrictions on what you can use it for.
Eligibility for Pennsylvania Small Business Loans
Eligible businesses can not only qualify for small business loans but may also get lower rates and longer repayment terms. Check your business and personal credit to determine what type of financing you’re eligible for.
If you don’t yet have an established business credit profile, learn how to establish business credit so you qualify for better offers.
How to Apply for Small Business Loans in Pennsylvania
Online lenders often have very short applications that require little more than your business details, time in business, and annual revenues. They are also generally able to give your loan application an answer quickly, so if you need the capital right away they can be a good option.
However, if you apply for a bank loan or SBA loan, you may need to provide additional details, such as your tax returns, financial statements, and/or business plan. A bank loan often takes weeks to go through the approval process, but if you have the luxury of time, they will often have the lowest interest rates.
If you don’t have a business plan, there are business resources in the state that can provide small business assistance and help you create one. Look to the Department of Community and Economic Development as well as your local Small Business Development Center to find help.
Pennsylvania Businesses Need Great Financing Options
From Harrisburg to Philadelphia, small businesses are the lifeblood of the state of Pennsylvania. Finding the right lender could be what takes your business to the next level and helps it remain part of the foundation that makes this state so great.
This article was originally written on June 14, 2021.