Entrepreneurs in Billings, Great Falls, Missoula, and other points around Montana have one thing in common: they have the fortitude to deal with the ups and downs of running a business.
One of the common challenges is not having enough capital to operate efficiently. If you find yourself struggling with lack of capital, a small business loan could be what you need to make it through.
How a Small Business Loan Can Help Your Montana Business
Financial assistance in the form of loans isn’t meant only to help when things are tight. You can also use a business loan to purchase a business that’s for sale, which can help you expand your footprint.
You can use the funds to buy equipment that makes you better able to serve customers. You can buy real estate, which may help you spend less than you’re paying in rent. You can buy inventory, hire marketing help, or invest in your education to make you a more savvy business owner.
Types of Small Business Loans to Choose From
When it comes to small business loans, you’re spoiled for choice in Montana. Here are a few of your options, offered through financial institutions, credit unions, and online lenders.
The U.S. Small Business Administration backs small business loans, though it doesn’t offer them directly. SBA loans have low interest and long repayment terms, and can be used as working capital or purchasing real estate or equipment.
Here are some of the lenders who offer SBA loans to Montana businesses:
You can also get low interest rates with a term loan from a bank, though you may need good to excellent credit to qualify. Explore your options for term loans in Montana.
- Bank of Montana
- Credibility Capital
Lines of Credit
Business lines of credit allow you to access funds when you need them rather than all up front. If you’re borrowing money to renovate property, this may be helpful, since you may not know how much you’ll need for the entire project.
Here are some of the lenders offering business lines of credit.
Commercial Real Estate Loans
There are loans specifically for purchasing commercial real estate. These loans may have low interest rates because they’re secured by the property you’re buying. Here are lenders offering commercial real estate loans.
Business Credit Cards
If you just need to be able to purchase things for your business when you need them, or you don’t qualify for the options above, maybe because you run a start-up, a business credit card may be a good fit. Look for one that offers rewards.
What it Takes to Get Approved for a Small Business Loan
Borrowers should look at what it takes to qualify for a loan before applying for one. If you’re applying for a business loan or SBA loan from a bank, you may need higher credit scores and time in business. You may also need to provide tax records and a business plan.
If you don’t have great credit, you can apply for an alternative loan online, which typically just wants to see your annual revenues.
How to Choose the Right Loan for Your Montana Small Business
With so many loan programs, how can you be sure the one you pick is the best? What qualifies as the “right loan” for you depends on what your business needs.
First, you need to qualify for it. If you don’t have great credit, you won’t qualify for an SBA loan. Next, it should offer competitive interest rates and low fees. Don’t be shy about shopping around to find the best rate.
You also want to work with a lender who has positive customer service feedback, since you will have a relationship with this lender for potentially several years.
Small Business Grant Options for Montana
In addition to loans for small businesses in Montana, there are also small business grants you may qualify for.
The Indian Equity Fund Small Business Grant provides up to $14,000 for businesses run by Native Americans in Montana.
Nav’s Small Business Grant provides $10,000 to one winner each quarter, and $5,000 to runners-up.
Big Sky Trust Fund Grant Program (BSTF) provides funding to businesses that create full-time jobs in the state.
Additional Resources for Montana Small Businesses
Let’s wrap up with a few small business resources that can provide you with free training and workshops, mentoring, and advice.
- Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
- Montana State University Small Business Webinars
- Montana Department of Commerce
- Business Assistance Bureau
Find the Right Financing in Montana
Small business owners looking for working capital, grants, or mentors have a wealth of resources in the state. It’s just a matter of finding what’s right for your business needs.
This article was originally written on February 28, 2022 and updated on March 3, 2022.