After planning your business, you will need to find a way to fund your business expenditures. Here we explore a variety of sources you can use to raise money.
The SBA offers SBA-guaranteed loans, loans that connect small business owners with financing offered by partner lenders and community development organizations. They offer a service called Lender Match (https://catran.sba.gov/lendermatch/form/contact.cfm), which helps business owners find a lender.
You can also receive loans from a bank when starting your business. Even if you do not have a long line of credit built up, places like the Self-Help Credit Union (https://www.self-help.org) can help you get the capital you need and teach you about good financial practices.
Family/ Friends **
Friends and family can sometimes be a good place to start when finding funding for your small business. **INSERT NUMBER percent of small businesses are actually started with funding from friends or family.
Venture Capital/ Equity
Sometimes, you can funding from investors by giving them a share in your company or a seat on the board. This money is different from a loan in that it is not usually expected to be paid back. Instead of getting their money back, investors get to keep the share of your company that you offered them. The SBA talks more in depth about venture capital if you are interested (https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/plan-your-business/fund-your-business).
Using the SBA’s website, you can also find an investor through a Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) that is licensed by the SBA. When a private investor invests money in your business, the SBA will match these funds $2 to $1. Use the SBIC directory (https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/investment-capital#paragraph-11) to find an investor to contact.
Crowdfunding is a somewhat new development that can be extremely useful for small businesses. It involves soliciting donations, usually online, as a means of raising money for your business. The following link provides some useful tips for those wanting to get the most out of crowdfunding.
Keep informed of important announcements and regulatory changes.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund Webinars
The SBA recently partnered with the North Carolina Small Business & Technology Development Center and the four NC Women’s Business Centers to provide free informational webinars on the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. If you were unable to attend the live sessions, you can watch a recording here to learn more about the application process.
Taking the Leap
The SBTDC is conducting a free, four-week long online seminar designed to teach participants about different aspects of starting a business. Attendees will work alongside their peers as well as professional mentors to learn about identifying potential markets, creating a business model, and developing a go-to market strategy. Visit the Taking the Leap website to learn more!