Invest Atlanta Small Business Loan Program
Invest Atlanta provides gap financing through various loan programs to small, minority and female owned businesses to expand and/or relocate in the City of Atlanta. The purpose of these loans is to revitalize targeted commercial neighborhood areas, promote business development projects, and stimulate job creation within the city.
Non-Profit and Community Lenders
Nonprofit and community lenders are one option for obtaining loans. Many of these lenders are mission-driven: they have community or social goals to support low-income communities. They may have fewer restrictions than traditional banks when making lending decisions. Examples of community lenders include community development finance institutions (CDFIs) and some credit unions.
These loans are usually smaller, or have fixed interest rates, so that borrowers are less likely to default (fail to repay their loan). In addition to providing loans, many of these lenders also provide services like training or technical assistance.
- Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE)
- Atlanta Micro Fund
- Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership (ANDP)
Bank loans are one of the most traditional ways to finance a business. Unfortunately, they’re also some of the hardest loans to get approved for due to their stricter requirements, such as having an alternate source of income, stellar credit, or being able to provide significant collateral. Have a great business plan to support your case, be persistent, shop around for the lowest interest rate, and keep in mind that you can also try other avenues, such as CDFIs.
Your investors might be people you know, such as friends, relatives, and colleagues. Or it could take the form of venture capital, which comes in the form of individuals (often called angel investors) or venture capital firms who invest in businesses that they think are promising. Angel investors will often provide capital and mentoring in exchange for equity in the business, and may require certain conditions such as influence over how to run the company.
Peer-to-peer Lending / Crowdfunding
Peer-to- peer lending, also known as crowdfunding, is an alternative funding model in which individual investors provide small sums as personal loans to individuals via Internet platforms. Crowdfunding is a way for businesses to raise money not only from friends and family, but also the public. There are several online crowdfunding platforms where you request a certain amount of money to start or grow your business. People often are interested in supporting small businesses and start-ups, and can use crowdfunding to lend their own money to you at low- or no-interest rates. Because of the highly social nature of crowdfunding, this method of raising money is also a great way to raise awareness of your business or product.
Some popular websites for crowdfunding include: