Free, personalized help is available for small business owners who need loans and help structuring a financing package.
Nancy LeGrande, director of the Wakarusa Valley Certified Development Co., will open her doors from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday to provide confidential counseling to local business owners. LeGrande said she will review the financial statements of small businesses and give their owners advice about what types of financing is available through such sources as the Small Business Administration, the state and local lenders.
"When they leave I will have structured a financing package for them, or if a business won't qualify I might say, `Here's what you have to do to position yourself to get an SBA loan,' " LeGrande said.
LEGRANDE WILL meet with small business owners at the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce offices, 734 Vt., where the Wakarusa Valley CDC's office is. No appointment is necessary.
Business owners should bring current financial statements. LeGrande said she also will meet with owners of startup businesses, which won't have statements. Those clients should be able to project their firms' results.
LeGrande said her agency, which is certified by the SBA, can help lead clients to a variety of types of financing. Some of them involve SBA guaranteed loans through local lenders, which financial institutions find attractive because the SBA reduces their exposure to default.
Some loans require no collateral.
ONE SBA PROGRAM offers financing for fixed assets such as real estate, machinery, equipment, furniture and vehicles. The interest rate on that financing is fixed at 7.6 percent for 20 years.
Through an SBA pilot program, businesses also can get a one-year revolving line of credit.
LeGrande said she also is enthusiastic about a Community Development Block Grant program that lends working capital to firms that create jobs through startups or expansions.
"Interest rates are very low," she said. "If you use a CDBG loan, rates are 4 percent to 4.5 percent fixed. To me, that's something businesses might want to lock into now."