#getting a small business loan


Financing a growing business

Learn about financing options for small businesses.

Supporting both the operation and expansion of a growing small business often requires some additional financial support. Getting a small business loan or grant can help you bridge the gap when you need to make capital investments, increase your workforce, or move to a larger space. To help you decide which type of funding might be right for you, here are a few great small business-financing options:

Line of credit. Using a line of credit as working capital can make it easier for you to manage your cash flow as your income or expenses fluctuate. It allows you to borrow only the funds that you need giving you more control over the amount of interest you will accrue.

Business loans. For larger investments, it may be time for a term loan. Like a mortgage or personal loan, term loans come with fixed interest rates and monthly payments over a period of years. Unlike a line of credit, a business loan will provide you with a large sum of cash upfront. These loans can be ideal for expanding your space or funding other large investments.

Commercial loans. For established businesses that own commercial real estate, a commercial loan is another option. Like a home equity loan, a commercial loan allows you to borrow against the equity you’ve built in your business property. Depending on the value of the property and the equity you hold, this could mean more borrowing power.

Equipment loans. If you’re specifically looking for cash to fund the purchase of new equipment – including vehicles, manufacturing or production machinery, farming equipment, or other necessary equipment – then an equipment loan or leasing program may be what you need. Like business loans, equipment loans offer fixed interest rates and payment plans over a period of time.

SBA loans. Wells Fargo is the nation’s #1 provider (by dollar volume) of loans guaranteed by the US Small Business Administration – or SBA 7(a) loans. SBA 7(a) loans have longer repayment terms and lower down-payments than most conventional bank loans, and can be used for the purchase of owner-occupied real estate, business acquisition, equipment, or working capital. Wells Fargo also offers the SBA 504 program for larger, fixed asset purchases or construction.

Federal or state grants. Small business grants – money that does not need to be repaid – are limited and harder to secure than loans. State and federal business grants are funded by taxpayer dollars, and the money is awarded through a complicated legislative process. For more information on how to get a small business grant, visit www.grants.gov.

By knowing which small business financing options are available, you’ll have a better idea of where to turn when you’re ready to take your business to the next level.

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#business advisor


Alberta Government

Ask a small business advisor

Small business advisors provide free advice to small businesses and entrepreneurs navigating provincial regulations and business support programs. Use the form or contact information below and a small business advisor will provide information, answer questions, direct you to various resources and, where possible, connect you directly with the experts who can help.


Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (Mountain Time)

  • For your small business needs, contact a Business Advisor at The Business Link

1-844-422-7705 Toll free public number (Canada only)

  • For technical/website questions, contact the Help Desk

    Send Message

    The only information collected that is used to identify you is information you give voluntarily. When you submit a question or comment, you may be asked for your name, e-mail address, or other information. This information is only used to process and respond to your question or comment and is collected in compliance with section 33 (c) of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act. This information is not disclosed except to authorized personnel who need it to answer your question.

    Ask a small business advisor

  • #start online business


    You need to have a viable business idea. You must also have what it takes to make it work. You also must have enough money.

    If you’ve got what it takes to start your own business, and you’ve done your research, forming a business is the next exciting leg on the journey.

    Many people struggle with the financial side of managing their small business. Not everyone has a head for figures or wants to become an accountant.

    If you want to run a legitimate enterprise, you must pay tax. It’s worth understanding your tax obligations before you start up to factor them in.

    Many people, including some leading business representatives, argue that small firms are over burdened by the weight of business law.

    It might be a cliché, but it remains true – planning without action is futile, while action without planning is fatal. You need a business plan.

    Marketing matters. Marketing drives sales for businesses of all sizes by ensuring that customers think of their brand when they want to buy.

    Premises provide the second-biggest overhead for many businesses. If you can start your business from your home, it will be much easier to break even.

    The success or failure of a business can often rest in the hands of its most valuable asset – its people. But managing them can be a challenge.

    There can’t be many firms in the UK, however small, that don’t use IT in some way. Many businesses simply couldn’t exist without IT.

    Half of all new businesses fail within five years. So how do you survive and thrive? Find out how to scale up and become a high-growth business.

    Starting an online business

    #internet business opportunities


    12 Ways to Make Money Online

    Regardless of your area of expertise, there is a plethora of opportunities out there for you to make money online. Someone, somewhere can use your skills and talents – and they’re willing to pay you for it.

    However, use caution when you see the phrase “make money online,” as it could be a scam. Christine Durst, consultant to the FBI on Internet scam issues told Woman’s Day magazine, There is currently a 61-to-1 scam ratio among work-at-home job leads on the Internet – that is, for every legitimate job, there are 61 scams.

    So how can you tell? Here’s a hint: Legit job offers never require you to pay a fee to get more information, nor do they come in unsolicited junk emails.

    We’ve made it easy for you. Here’s a list of 13 (legit) ways to make money online. While some have bigger payouts than others, if done the right way they can all add up to a healthy income.

    1. Become an Online Reseller

    An online reseller purchases items and resells them on sites like eBay to make a profit. Sellers determine the price by the market and the value of items they sell, so it’s imperative that you have a strong knowledge of what the product is worth (market value). Depending on the volume of your business, reselling on eBay and other sites could become a lucrative full-time job.

    2. Try Affiliate Marketing

    Affiliate marketing is one of the fastest-growing ways to earn money online. What’s great about becoming an affiliate marketer is that you don’t have to create any products yourself. You just link up a buyer and a seller, and you take a commission on the sale. One piece of advice, don’t join every affiliate program you come across in hopes of increasing your streams of revenue. Choose wisely and don’t overload yourself. Here are some of the most popular affiliate programs to help you get started: CJ Affiliate. ClickBank. Google AdSense and Rakuten LinkShare .

    3. Virtual Independent Contractor

    Customer service has evolved in the last few decades. It’s no longer about just answering questions from a cubicle in a call center. Larger companies like J. Crew, Express Jet, 1-800-flowers and IRS outsource their customer service to third parties who then hire home-based workers to take calls. Become an independent contractor with LiveOps and you will have the freedom to operate your own business providing customer service right from the comfort of your own home.

    With a college degree and skills in math, science, English or a variety of other subjects, online tutoring might be the right fit for a little extra cash. At Tutor.com. working as an independent contractor can earn you around $10-$14 per hour based on the subject and hours worked. The busier you are with your home tutoring business. the more money you can make. Some online tutors bring in up to $1,600 a month.

    Although most transcription companies will require you to pass an entrance exam, once you get your foot in the door there is real opportunity to make money. TranscribeMe offers short audio files to be transcribed at a rate of $14 per audio hour, with potential to earn up to $20. The key here is audio hour – your speed and efficiency will determine your overall hourly rate.

    Registered nurses should consider a company like Fonemed. which provides phone-based triage and medical information to customers in Canada and the US. Companies like Fonemed contract with medical-related clients, doctor’s offices and pediatrician’s offices to answer questions during non-office hours (usually weeknights and weekends). To be considered, you must be licensed in the state or province where you are located and have at least three years of recent clinical experience with adults and children. Typical Fonemed nurses make $27 an hour and are eligible for benefits like health insurance and paid leave.

    You don’t need a computer science background to get into the app biz. What makes app development such an attractive opportunity is minimal overhead. While $0.99 is a cheap price for a consumer, multiply that by the millions of people who have the device to download it. So, get brainstorming. Yours could be the next killer app.

    8. Take Online Surveys

    You definitely won’t get rich taking surveys online, but it’s an easy way to earn a little cash on the side. Do your homework and make sure the survey company is legitimate. My Survey. Pinecone Research and SurveySpot are just a few you should check out.

    9. Closed Captioning

    Work from home doing court reporting or creating closed captioning for the hearing impaired for television, videos, etc. It’s an industry you can break into with just a little training that inevitably pays quite well. Captioning is generally done with a stenotype machine, and if you are trained to use one it is possible to type over 200 words per minute. If you aren’t trained, visit the National Court Reporting Association for more information.

    10 Take Part in an Online Jury

    Think about this. Companies like eJury.com and OnlineVerdict.com will pay you to sit on mock juries to give attorneys and consultants feedback on cases they are working on. These cases are real and your verdict will give them a prediction of how things might go in the courtroom. Payment ranges from $5 to $60.

    11. Become a Virtual Assistant

    Business owners and other professionals are in need of personal assistants but can’t afford to add a permanent position. So what do they do? They hire remotely to address their administrative needs. Contact businesses in your area or register with an agency like Zirtual.com to get stated.

    12. Flip Domain Names

    One of the easiest ways to make money online is by buying a domain name for a low price and selling it for a higher price. You can purchase domain names through sites like GoDaddy or in an online auction at NameJet. There are dozens of reasons why domains expire, and you can profit from them. Flipping domains doesn’t cost a fortune to start and you can flip as many domains as possible.

    Featured Opportunities View All

    #business printers


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    MAXIFY business printers deliver professional quality, colour printing and high levels of productivity to small and home offices. From simple printers to All-In-One printers with copying, scanning and faxing functionality, the MAXIFY range offers high efficiency and a wide range of connectivity options including printing from mobile devices as well as from cloud services.

    Home Office Printers

    Small Office Printers

    Achieve new levels of productivity with MAXIFY home office printers. Ideal for those who run their business from home, they offer low cost printing for home offices, printing between 200-1,000 pages per month.

    Maximise the potential of your small office with the robust and productive MAXIFY small business printers. The perfect low cost printing solution for small offices with up to 5 employees and printing between 250-1,500 pages per month.

    The high yield XL ink tanks print colour documents at a low cost per page. A 4-colour multipack option contains a full set of replacement inks for even more cost-effective printing. With the Auto 2-Sided printing you can reduce the amount of paper you use and create professional looking double-sided documents.

    #zee business


    Zee Business: Go local, get an audience

    Shuchi Bansal | New Delhi May 05, 2009 12:42 AM IST

    Zee Business, the business news channel of the Zee Group, has increased its market share almost 100 per cent in the last one year. Launched in November 2004, it was the country s first Hindi business channel. However, it failed to make a mark. Up until one year ago, the channel lacked direction and a clear positioning. With a market share of approximately 11 per cent, it trailed CNBC, CNBC Awaaz and NDTV Profit by a huge margin.

    Last summer, the channel s new business head, Raktim Das, went back to the drawing board to see how he could drive channel viewership. The problems were aplenty. We did not even know who we were talking to. However, what we knew was that business leaders like Ratan Tata or Nandan Nilkeni were not talking to us, says Das.

    Step one included defining the core audience and the core positioning of the channel. Since purchasing power was growing in Tier II and III towns, it was decided to focus on small and medium enterprises of up to Rs 100 crore, especially those in the Hindi-speaking markets.

    So, the spotlight turned on towns like Moradabad (for its crystal and brass exports), Agra (leather), Ludhiana (wool products and hosiery) and Jaipur (gems and jewellery). To connect with the audience in these towns, Zee Business began organising investor camps.

    Zee held 30 such camps where an expert panel talked to people about their financial planning and investment needs. Simultaneously, it launched a hunt for smart investors in these towns who were meant to resolve case studies in financial planning. Selected viewers were shot with their families for an on-air show.

    The exercise has been on for the last nine months and has created a huge rapport with the viewers. The grand finale of the contest is yet to be held, says Das. In another ground event, the channel organised discussions on emerging businesses in 10 cities. Result? Its viewership has risen from 11 per cent in March 2008 to 19 per cent in November to 25 per cent between January and March. Das claims Zee Business is now ahead of NDTV Profit and UTVi.

    #business printers


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    Portable laser printers with wi-fi for fast printing needs.

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    #business proposal format


    Business Proposal Format

    M.A. SHRM-SCP, SPHR – Corporate Trainer Consultant

    Are you looking for information about the proper business proposal format? Whether you are writing a business plan for a start up venture, submitting a proposal in the hopes of securing a contract, attracting new customers, or securing support from investors, it’s essential to make sure the document you create is formatted in an appropriate manner.

    Three Business Proposal Format Tips

    There is no one correct business proposal format that has to be used in every situation. There are many different ways to format these types of documents. However, this fact does not mean “anything goes” when it comes to creating a business proposal. While there is more than one “right way” to format a professional proposal, there are dos and don’ts every proposal writer should follow.

    1. Follow Provided Instructions

    If you are creating a response to a request for proposal (RFP), chances are you were provided with specific instructions about the format that should be used for your response. Follow the formatting directions to the letter. Some RFPs are so specific they provide exact heading titles, font sizes and word limit instructions. While creativity can be a good thing, deviating from the specified format for an RFP is not. Failure to follow the instructions could mean your document will be excluded from consideration.

    2. Make the Document Skim-Friendly

    Keep in mind those who review your business proposal will likely skim the document before making a decision about whether or not to review it closely. Use formatting techniques to make it easy for reviewers to find major sections and important information. Ensure that each section of your proposal is clearly labeled with headings as appropriate and use bullet points and tables to draw readers’ eyes to key content. Avoid overusing special formatting features like bold, italics and underlining, using them only as necessary for emphasis.

    3. Consider the Audience

    Keep in mind the expertise and knowledge base of the target audience when writing your proposal. Use language likely to make sense to the people who will be reading your proposal – and making decision about whether or not to work with you – throughout the document. Remember that persuasion lies at the heart of the intent of your proposal. Rather than focusing too much on the features of what you have to offer, use language that emphasizes how accepting your proposal can benefit those who are in a decision making position and the organizations or individuals they represent.

    Business Proposal Content Guidelines

    Format is not the only consideration when creating and submitting a business proposal. Presenting high quality ideas is essential. It’s also important to include the right types of information and to ensure the document is well-written. Proofread carefully for content, clarity grammar and spelling before finalizing your proposal and submitting to the final recipient(S).

    Business proposals typically include the following information:

    • Name of company and/or individual submitting proposal
    • Date of submission
    • Executive summary
    • Statement of circumstances under which proposal is being submitted (i.e. in response to a request or as a follow-up to a meeting)
    • Description of products or services offered
    • Charts and graphs as appropriate
    • Time frame for delivery
    • Information about limitations or exclusions
    • Detailed pricing information
    • Procedure for requesting additional information
    • Deadline for response (if applicable)

    Sample Proposal Formats to Review

    It’s advisable to review a few example business proposals to get ideas for formatting the one you are working on. Here are a few sample documents you may want to review:

    Related Topics

    #business brochures


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