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Before you seek financial assistance, you should thoroughly assess your current financial situation. Ask yourself the following questions to determine your business' financing needs:
Do you need more capital or can you manage the existing cash flow?
If you are having trouble paying your obligations on time, you may need an infusion of working capital.
What is the nature of your need?
Do you need money to start or expand your business or as a cushion against risk?
How urgent is your need?
Whenever possible, it's better to anticipate your needs rather than looking for money under pressure. It is harder to gain approval for a loan when your company is already in trouble, so plan ahead and secure financing well in advance of a crisis.
How great are your risks?
All businesses carry risk, and the degree of risk will affect both the cost of your loan and available financing alternatives.
In what state of development is your business?
Needs are generally more critical during transitional stages - start-up and expansion being two of the most urgent and costly.
Ninety-six percent of the world’s consumers live outside of the United States and represent two-thirds of the world’s purchasing power. U.S. companies that export enjoy business success with increased sales and profit potential. Exporting also helps businesses weather downturns in the domestic economy by being prepared to respond to foreign competition and global market trends.
Applying for disaster recovery assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration just got easier thanks to revisions made to its electronic loan application, significantly reducing the number of screens an applicant must read while filling out the form.
“Our goal is to provide support for those rebuilding after a disaster, and we wanted to make the process more user-friendly,” said SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills. “Whether it’s a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or devastating flood, the SBA can step in to help communities get back on their feet by providing access to both home and business recovery disaster loans. To make the loan application process more streamlined and simplified, we have taken a different approach with the online applications. This improvement will make those first steps toward recovery more convenient.”
The new online application is easier to read, and users will spend less time filling out the form.
The original electronic loan application—launched in 2008—guided applicants through a series of 80 screens, based on responses to questions aimed at determining eligibility. Now, applicants for disaster assistance can fill out a form on SBA’s secure website that looks exactly like the paper application, four pages for home loans, and three pages for business loans.
Protect your business from con artists who try to fool you into paying for office supplies, business directory listings, or Internet services you haven't ordered.
How will the credit make a difference for you?
For tax years 2010 through 2013, the maximum credit is 35 percent for small business employers and 25 percent for small tax-exempt employers such as charities. An enhanced version of the credit will be effective beginning Jan. 1, 2014. Additional information about the enhanced version will be added to IRS.gov as it becomes available. In general, on Jan. 1, 2014, the rate will increase to 50 percent and 35 percent, respectively.