How to Get a Business Loan in Oregon
Oregon is packed with over 320,000 small businesses. Many of these ventures started with a great idea. But to turn a concept into reality, you need money. An Oregon small-business loan can help you get your business off the ground or take an existing one to the next level. Keep reading to learn how you can get lines of credit for the working capital you need to make sure your company is one of the strongest small businesses in the state.
How to Use an Oregon Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
If you’re starting or expanding a small business in Oregon, you don’t have to go it alone. Both new and existing business owners can approach an Oregon Small Business Development Center for guidance and resources. Even if all you have is an idea, a Small Business Development Center can help you get everything in place so you’re ready to approach lenders about getting a loan.
An Oregon Small Business Development Center can help you transform your business idea—no matter how well-developed it is—into a solid plan designed to secure the funding you need.
For Existing Businesses
If you’re applying for funding for an existing business and you need your first loan, a Small Business Development Center can help ensure that your plan has the right content and structure. For example, they can make sure it emphasizes your current earnings—and those you will get as a result of the new funding—in a way that’s honest, realistic, and compelling for a lender.
Also, as a seasoned business owner, your organization may have some qualities that can make it more appealing to a lender. An Oregon Small Business Development Center can help you identify attributes that can enhance the appeal of your business.
For New Businesses
A business plan is essential, and many new business ideas may not have one already in place. But don’t worry: SBDCs specialize in helping you formulate thorough plans that can get you the funding you need.
A strong business plan outlines several key elements of your business model, marketing strategy, product or service development, and structure. A plan needs to include the following:
- A detailed description of products or services, including their strengths, weaknesses, and plans for upgrading or adjusting them
- Profiles of your target customers
- Marketing strategies for each kind of customer
- Sales techniques and tools you will need
- Product development life cycle plans, including future phases of development for each product or service you provide
- A plan for how you will spend the money you borrow
- A financial plan outlining when and how you will repay your funds
- Your business structure (LLC, corporation, etc.)
- A detailed outline of each principal’s responsibilities
- A description of the physical resources, equipment, inventory, and other items needed to support your business
- Any real estate requirements, such as a shop or office space rental
Once this is accomplished, you can approach a lender with the kind of plan that inspires confidence in your success. Oregon SBDCs have access to LivePlan, an online business plan resource that makes sure your plan is complete and suits your kind of business.
Options for Getting Loans
To get a loan for your business, you have a few different options, including:
- A Small Business Administration (SBA) loan. While the SBA itself doesn’t lend money, it works with lenders and has standards you have to meet to qualify for the loans its lenders offer.
- A private lender. A private lender can be anyone from a friend or relative to a venture capitalist. Regardless, you will need to have a business plan in place before approaching any private party about funding.
- The Entrepreneurial Development Loan Fund (EDLF) from Business Oregon. This organization provides direct loans for start-ups and small businesses that made less than $1.5 million in the past 12 months or are owned by a severely disabled individual.
- An Economic Development District entity set up by the Economic Development Administration (EDA). The EDA has districts across the country that support the development of economies in those areas. In some cases when a bank can give you only some of the funds you need, the EDD may be able to help you find the rest.
Does the Government Hand Out Business Loans?
The short answer is “Sometimes”—but only to people who have strong business plans that address a pressing need the government has. Generally speaking, unless your business solves a specific problem the government is facing, it will be difficult, if not impossible, to get a loan from any state, local, or national governmental entity.
With a strong business plan in hand, you have plenty of options for securing a loan to fund your new or existing venture. To locate an Oregon SBDC near you, visit our website.