Since June 15, 2009, the United States Small Business Administration has been processing deferred payment small business loans of as much as $35,000 to be given out to 10,000 small businesses. This is covered by the SBA’s America’s Recovery Capital (ARC) Loan Program.
To qualify, companies should be private enterprises that are for-profit. They should have up to five hundred employees only and should be at least two years old. Furthermore, they should be able to prove financial need with a twenty percent decrease in sales, revenue or working capital. On the other hand, they should be able to prove that one of their two years in business has been profitable, and that with the infusion of cash they will be able to meet their existing and future debt obligations. This means positive cash flow projections. The ARC small business loans are intended to be used to pay outstanding debt such as payables to vendors.
For this batch of small business loans, there are no fees or costs involved, except if the borrower defaults on the loan later. In that case the SBA-approved lender can charge costs for securing and liquidating collateral.
The ARC small business loans also do not charge interest. Actually, the SBA pays the interest for the borrowers. Disbursement of the loan can take as much as six months but payment of the principal is also deferred for the next 12 months. After that, the borrower has five years to repay the loan principal.
Each small business can only avail of one ARC loan. SBA-approved lenders will offer the loans until September 30, 2010 or until available funds run out, whichever comes first.
There are, however, an estimated 30 million small businesses in the United States and only 10,000 of them can avail of the government’s small business loans. What if you do not happen to be among the 10,000 lucky recipients? How will your small business survive?
There are even doubts being raised on whether as much as 10,000 businesses can indeed avail of the ARC loans. There are fears that there may not be enough lenders willing or able to participate in the program. Lenders will have to advance the full amount of the loan, will not receive payment on principal for a full year, and will not be able to charge any fees, thereby absorbing all administrative costs. This may be too steep for many lenders. They may not be able to afford to participate at all.
This is where you as a small business owner can and should maximize your credit card services. We are not talking about your personal credit card services here. Instead, we are referring to the merchant services that enable your small business to receive credit card and debit card payments. Surely, any business these days avails of these types of credit card services. After all, more people pay by credit card or debit card rather than cash.
Most credit card services offer small business cash advances that can be as substantial as small business loans. These small business loans do not require any collateral because they are secured by your company’s future credit card receivables. This is even more convenient for your business because repayment is also built into those receivables. Credit card services automatically deduct a percentage from your income to go toward loan repayment. For as long as you have incoming sales, you can support your loan. Interest rates are often quite affordable considering how the loan can help your business.
Small businesses should therefore look into maximizing these credit card services for small business loans. The survival of your business could hinge on this.