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It's a tough market for small business loans. As you undoubtedly know, money is tight throughout our economy. So if you're looking for a minority loan, your options may be limited to an even greater degree. Nonetheless, by being properly prepared, and selecting the right strategy, you can significantly improve your chances for approval.
Minority loans can apply to many different groups - ethnic communities, LGBT individuals, the disabled, women, low-income businesspeople, and even those located in rural areas - who are looking to start or grow a business.
It's up to you to prove to a potential lender that you're worth the investment. You're up against plenty of competition for money, and simply qualifying for minority status won't do the trick.
A well thought-out, strategic business plan is your single best advantage.
Businesses must make a profit, of course, so you have to show you are capable of doing so, and that you know exactly how to go about it. Your business plan should address:
• Goals and objectives
• Your own skills and abilities
• Knowledge gaps you're filling with employees or outsourcing
• Market research and analysis
• Financial projections
• Marketing methods
Do your homework to find all of the minority loan sources that may be available to you.
Study the advantages and potential disadvantages of each potential source. The websites for the Minority Business Development Agency, National Minority Supplier Development Council and Ethnic Majority provide excellent advice and links to potential lenders.
Talk with your local Chamber of Commerce, business incubator, city hall, economic development, or community investment agencies for specific sources and contacts in your area. Often, you can access the best minority loan opportunities through local organizations - or simply through your personal contacts among your minority community.
Shop around thoroughly before making any decisions. Different lenders have different requirements, and some prefer to work with specific types of businesses. Make sure the financing partner you choose has a strong interest in working with you, and that it has an excellent reputation among small businesses in your community.
We have some excellent articles on financing a startup and on unconventional small business loan sources that may prove helpful to you as well. Whether you are looking for capitol from investors, banks, or through minority loans, the most important thing you can do as a small business owner is to do your research, and focus on preparation.
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