What are Common Funding Sources for Small Businesses?

Money keeps small business owners awake at night.  Starting a small business takes a significant amount of courage and cash.  Many aspiring entrepreneurs talk themselves out of pulling the trigger for fear of debt.

Concerto Law is a proud supporter of small businesses.  Each week, our blog provides practical strategies to help you grow your business and survive the downturns.  This week we write about some common funding sources for small business owners to help their companies survive and find profitability.

Pennsylvania Business One-Stop Shop

Pennsylvania entrepreneurs can take advantage of the PA Business One-Stop Shop website for tips and advice on almost every facet of business formation.

Before you even register your business with state and federal agencies, this website can help you turn that business idea you’ve been kicking around into a reality.  With the difficult economic circumstances caused by COVID-19, Pennsylvania’s One-Stop Shop also provides timely information on funding relief for small businesses.

Check out Pennsylvania’s Small Diverse Businesses program.  This program supports businesses owned by women, minorities, service-disabled individuals, LGBT, and individuals with disabilities. You can find a wealth of resources to increase your chances of business success.

Small Business Administration Funding 

This federal agency has offices in all 50 states.  The SBA works with countless local organizations to assist small businesses in the U.S. that are either starting out or struggling.

One way the SBA helps small businesses secure funding is by helping entrepreneurs find Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs). These companies are licensed by the SBA and are the vehicles through which the SBA invests in small businesses. Your small business has to satisfy the eligibility requirements before securing investment capital from an SBIC.

The SBA has also stepped up to the plate to help entrepreneurs struggling to keep their small businesses afloat during coronavirus. Business owners should also try to keep up with other federal relief programs, like possible future rounds of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Don’t overlook the local Small Business Administration offices in your county.  Here, you will find a variety of free or low-cost programs important to small business owners.

Traditional Funding Sources for Small Businesses

Many entrepreneurs try to bootstrap their startups.  They scrounge whatever liquid funds are available to launch their company. If more capital is needed, entrepreneurs can go to banks and other traditional lending institutions to see if they offer loans geared toward small businesses.

Some specialized companies (like tech startups) and other businesses that need to scale quickly can seek out angel investment or venture capital firms.

Regulations surrounding crowdfunding have been loosened recently, allowing entrepreneurs to take advantage of Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Patreon, Indiegogo, and other platforms.

Check out our recent blog post about the pros and cons of loans and investor-funding.

Outside-the-Box Funding Sources

Internet searches will turn up a variety of outside-the-box funding sources.  For example, many private foundations and corporate charitable giving programs offer funding grants to specific audiences.  These can be industry-specific, such as restaurants, the arts, or education.  These funding sources can also target specific demographics, such as women-owned business, minority-owned businesses, rural businesses, LGBTQ+ businesses, etc.

An article I recently read talks about additional outside-the-box funding sources, such as crowdfunding, grants, and micro-lenders.  Read it here:  How to Overcome Obstacles as a Female Entrepreneur.  Although it is geared for female entrepreneurs, the tips apply to a much greater audience.  This article also provides useful tips about building your credit, honing your skills, and finding development and mentoring programs.

Don’t forget to check out your local Small Business Development Center for ideas, mentoring, and counseling.  You can find it at https://americassbdc.org/.

Finally, check out my post on It Take Money to Make Money:  Finding Funds For Your New Business for additional funding ideas.

Concerto Law is Here to Help You Succeed

It can seem like there are so many funding options available to help start your small business that you might have “option paralysis.” The truth is that there are tradeoffs with every funding source. Picking the best one for you and your enterprise means considering your available options as well as your current situation and goals.

Our firm can help you find your “how” moving forward. Give us a call at 814-706-1288 to discuss your options today.