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Capital Access: Grants and Loans - FAQ's
Source: Minority Business Development Agency


GRANTS

Question: Are grants available for startup businesses or for any type of business?

Answer: The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) is not a funding source and does not provide grants. There are grants available through federal and state government programs but they are primarily for research or development in the area of: technology, biotech, homeland security and defense. The objective of the programs is to create jobs, encourage innovation and firm formation. Refer to the Grant Section for grants available by states and the various federal programs.

LOANS

Question: What financing is available for minority-owned businesses and what is the process?

Answer: The MBDA does not make loans but MBDA centers and staff can make referrals or provide information on the various funding sources. This information can be accessed through the Capital Resource Locator. The Capital Resource Locator contains contact information on micro lenders, intermediaries, financial institutions and other funding sources. Each financial institution or funding source has its own credit criteria and guidelines to underwrite (make) the loan. MBDA's role is to make referrals and the Agency is not responsible for approval of the loans.

Refer to the Capital Access Locator and Loan Products to obtain contact information on the funding sources. The Loan Products outlines the general credit guidelines by the various types of loan programs.

Question: Types of Loans: Is there financing available for startup businesses?

Answer: Startup businesses are difficult to finance. Possible sources for startup businesses may be revolving loans, handled through a city or municipal loan program, or micro loans. In addition, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has a "Low Doc" Program where the financial institution or SBA intermediary make the loan which is guaranteed by the SBA.

Refer to SBA's website, http://www.sba.gov.

Question: How much money can I get? What purpose?

Answer: The amount of money depends on the company's revenue size and overall financial position. The SBA guidelines generally require that for startup or acquisitions loans that a minimum of 30% of the amount requested be injected by the borrower.

The most common purposes of a loan are working capital or term financing for equipment loans.

Question: What type of collateral is required for a loan? Will I be required to pledge personal assets?

Answer: Business assets are generally required for collateral. In some cases, including an SBA or State guarantee, all owners of twenty percent (20%) or more of the business are required to personally guarantee SBA loans. Also, a request for personal collateral from the principals may be required.

Question: How does a financial institution determine if my business is a good risk?

Answer: Repayment ability from the cash flow of the industry is a primary consideration in the loan decision. Good character, including a solid credit history, management capability, collateral and owner's equity contribution are also important factors.

CREDIT HISTORY

Question: Credit History. How important is it to have a good credit history and how will this influence the credit decision?

Answer: Credit history is a major consideration in the approval of a loan since this information provides a historical payment history. However, except for a bankruptcy, federal or state lien, credit can be repaired or explained, depending on the financial institutions' policy.


 

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