Small business owners from Hartford to New Haven to Bridgeport all have one thing in common: they need working capital to thrive and grow their companies. Sometimes they have the cash on hand. Sometimes they need to find it.
Where do you fall on that spectrum? Do you have all the cash you need to grow your business…or could you use an injection of it to take your business up a notch? If you fall in the latter camp (which most businesses in Connecticut do), a small business loan might be just what you need.
How a Small Business Loan Can Help Your Connecticut Business
So why should you consider small business loans? In a nutshell, they create opportunity. Whether you need cash to get through a slow period in your business or you need to purchase a company vehicle, having the capital to do so can be the difference between your business struggling and it succeeding.
A loan can help you take advantage of opportunities that arise, such as purchasing another company or buying larger orders of inventory to save money. It can help you hire staff or buy software that lets you better serve your customers.
Small Business Loan Options for Connecticut
So where should you begin in your hunt for the perfect business loan? Right here. There are a variety of small business lenders and loan programs in Connecticut available to you.
The U.S. Small Business Administration guarantees loans for small businesses, though it isn’t a lender itself. Instead, banks and online lenders are authorized to participate in these SBA loan programs like the 7(a) and 504 loans.
These loans have low interest rates and long repayment terms, and you’ll need good credit to qualify. Here are some options for SBA loans in Connecticut:
Banks in Connecticut also offer term loans up to $500,000 (not guaranteed by the SBA) to businesses with excellent credit. Here are some to consider:
Line of Credit
If you don’t want a lump sum of cash all at once, consider a line of credit, which works like a credit card. You can use what you need and pay it back, then borrow more when you need it. Here are some lending partners that offer lines of credit in Connecticut:
Real Estate Loan
If you’re looking to purchase commercial real estate, a commercial mortgage can get you the high-dollar loan you want with a long repayment period. Here’s where to look:
Not every business—particularly new startups—has established credit and can qualify for longer-term financing. In that case, short-term loans may be a good fit because lenders look at other criteria like annual revenues to qualify you. Check these out:
How to Get a Small Business Loan in Connecticut
Requirements for borrowers to apply for loans will vary from one lender to another. Bank and SBA lenders, for example, may have a more stringent process and may require more paperwork, including financial statements and a business plan. These applications may take weeks to process, whereas an online lender may give instant approval to your application.
One thing to know is that the higher your credit scores, the lower the interest rate you may qualify for. If your scores could use some improvement, you may want to work on building them up before applying. You can do this by opening a business credit card or trade account and paying your bill on time each month.
How to Choose the Right Loan for Your Connecticut Small Business
With so many options, where do you begin in selecting the loan and lender for your business needs? First, consider how much you need to borrow. Some lenders have caps (or minimums) that they’ll lend, so you can eliminate any that don’t fit.
Next, how will you use the money? Will you need it all at once, or access it over time, like you would with a line of credit?
Finally, which loans do you qualify for? If your credit doesn’t qualify you for an SBA loan, you may have to get a short-term loan with fewer criteria.
Small Business Grant Options for Connecticut
One option beyond small business loans in Connecticut is a grant. There are federal and local governments, corporations, and nonprofits that offer grant programs. These programs provide capital that does not have to be repaid. Here are some to consider:
- Amber Grant
- CDBG Small Business Grant (Middletown)
- Nav’s Small Business Grant
- US Grants
- Small Business Express (not currently available)
Additional Resources for Connecticut Small Businesses
We’ll close with a few business resources in Connecticut that can offer you technical assistance and networking opportunities for business development. These may also offer free workshops, mentoring, and events.
- Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development
- Small Business Development Center
- SBA Women’s Business Centers
Entrepreneurs in the great state of Connecticut that are looking for help with cash flow have options when it comes to business loans. Find the right financing for your business needs and watch your company blossom!
This article was originally written on January 20, 2022 and updated on January 28, 2022.