Contributed by Byron Hicks, SBTDC State Director
I hope some of you are old enough, as I am, to remember the Wendy’s Hamburger ad with the elderly women yelling “where’s the beef?” For small business owners the question is “where’s the money?” Capital for small businesses IS available. It is just not where we are used to looking. The last two years have had a major impact on funding for small businesses. Banks jumped into action with the support of the SBA to offer the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EDIL), the Restaurant Revitalization Program (RRF) and the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG). These programs did help many small businesses. However, the criteria for the funding was based on an expected pandemic duration of a few months, not two plus years. These funds were not a permanent fix.
Now with these funds expended, interest rates climbing, and too much debt on the books, many businesses are finding it difficult to obtain the capital they need to grow and reorganize their companies. So “where is the money?” In North Carolina there are many resources that can help. The recently announced States Small Business Credit Initiative (SSCBI) funded by the US Treasury and managed by the NC Rural Center will leverage $200 million into billions of dollars available for small businesses. The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) have grown and worked in tandem to assist small businesses. Credit Unions have entered the small business lending arena. Entrepreneurship resource partners offer funding. Many local municipalities and counties have set up small business grant and loan funds. The answer is ASK. Ask a resource partner like the SBTDC, your banker, or your town council.