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Posted under: Opinion

These 7 Financial Lending Options Were Designed Specifically For Business Owners Of Color

If you’re in a minority group, these avenues are exclusively for you.

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We’ve seen some great developments in the economy as a whole lately, and it’s starting to become easier and more accessible for everyone to join the world of entrepreneurship. This includes groups of people that have traditionally had various start up issues to deal with, both in social as well as financial terms.

If you belong to a minority group, you may be able to take advantage of some attractive programs designed specifically for people in your position. Note that each of those programs has its own specific requirements that you’ll need to observe, but as long as you cover the eligibility criteria, it’s not a bad idea at all to explore them all and see what they can bring to the table for you.

1. The SBA Community Advantage Loans

The Small Business Administration has been known for a while for their activities in helping smaller businesses get established and operate more easily, and they have various special loans designed for entrepreneurs in this type of situation. One of the great things about these loans is that they are available with no collateral at all. You’ll just have to prove a good credit history to be able to get one. That’s pretty much all there is to it. The rest comes down to knowing how much you need to borrow and being able to explain exactly what you want to do with that money.

It’s interesting to note that the SBA itself has a pretty high guarantee percentage for this type of loan, making it perfect for those who can’t afford to spend too much time searching and comparing loan companies.

2. The Business Diversity Lending Program

Having a solid reputation for assisting small business owners to minorities in difficult times, the program was originally set up to assist small, minority-owned businesses in qualifying for business loans. There are various special conditions to this deal and you’ll want to pay attention to the fine print. But as long as you belong to a recognized minority group, you can qualify for the business diversity program and take out a loan. You’ll find that the conditions for obtaining a loan of this type tend to be more lenient compared to other similar credit products, as long as you fall in the right category.

3. The National-African American Micro Business Loan Fund

There has been a lot of discussion on the American political scene recently regarding the situation of African Americans in terms of finances. Many have started to recognize that this community is facing some significant issues when it comes to obtaining adequate loans, and a lot of work has been done to alleviate this from multiple sides. And while it can be argued that even more can and should be done in the near future, the National-African American Micro Business Loan Fund is a great step in the right direction, providing solid assistance to people who qualify for it.

4. The Black-Business Loan Fund

Another fund aimed specifically at Black Americans, it requires at least 51% of the total value of the business to be under you, and you should have been on the market for the last two years prior. Other than that, there are no special conditions to observe, and you can even take out this loan without any collateral whatsoever. After you apply, the process is relatively smooth and straightforward.

Keep in mind that you can only borrow up to $100,000 at a time, although it might be possible to get an exception from that rule. This will require additional discussion with the foundation, and while it’s not very likely that you’ll get a special break, it’s not a bad idea to ask. But in the end, it should also be considered why you need to borrow that much money in the first place, and whether it’s appropriate for you and your business to be using this program.

5. The Hispanic Small Business Loans

As the name implies, these loans are aimed at Hispanics in the U.S. specifically, and they are designed to serve their sizable community in the most adequate way possible. It’s interesting to note that this was an initiative of the community itself and the loans are available to pretty much any Hispanic applicant who covers the basic requirements. Those requirements are very relaxed though, as the fund aims to be much less bureaucratic in nature than similar ones on the market right now. To this end, most of the requirements specified are very basic and are just there to ensure that you are who you say you are.

6. Latino Economic Centre Loans

Latinos in Minnesota can take advantage of this type of loan, which requires a business plan, a financial statement that covers the last two years, as well as a full credit report. Once you’ve covered the bureaucratic basics, you may also have to deal with a more restrictive lending process, as these loans can be a bit more demanding in terms of their basic requirements. As long as you know what you’re doing and have a good business plan though, there’s not much that can go wrong here. Just be prepared to do some explaining if parts of your plan are not immediately obvious.

7. Business and Industry Guarantee Loan Program

For those living in a rural area, the Business and Industry Guarantee Loan Program can be a very adequate solution for bridging gaps in your finances. You will need a good credit history for these loans though, and you may also have to put up some collateral as well. It’s not the easiest type of business loan to obtain, but it can definitely be very helpful if you want to boost your finances in a noticeable way. You may also have to go through some more rigorous evaluation before the lenders will determine whether or not you’re eligible. But in the end, this can be a very good opportunity for your business.

These aren't all the options, so keep exploring! The market offers no shortage of financial help for smaller businesses that want a nice boost to their operations. And if you’re in a minority group, you can take advantage of some very attractive programs.

Remember, even if you don’t qualify for these programs there are plenty of online loan companies offering different types of loans to fit just about any situation. Use whatever resources are available to you to accomplish your entrepreneurial dreams.

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A dedicated, organized and results-driven educator and professional writer. Taught English (ENL/ELA) & Creative Writing for 8 years at secondary and adult levels. Master of Common Core 6-12 English Language Arts standards and high-passing rate on ELA CC Regents. Strong collaborative, analytical and research skills.