Reduced Access To Debt Financing Is Coming—How To Prepare Your Small Business


By Neil Hare

For those who’re like most business owners, you’re the Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank collapses and wondering what it means in your access to capital—but perhaps not in the best way through which you originally thought. The query of whether your money shall be protected at your bank has, for probably the most part, been answered affirmatively by the federal government. However the query of where you’re going to get an influx of capital this yr when you need it, is just not looking positive.

To this point, the reason for the SVB collapse is that it had gobs of money deposits from its startup clients in the course of the recent boon, and like most banks, it invested it within the safest bet you possibly can make: U.S. Treasuries. The issue was SVB bought longer-term Treasuries, meaning they couldn’t be converted back into money quickly and simply.

Ben Lozano, CEO and cofounder of Bay Area fintech startup SMBX and an authority on the bond market, explains, “SVB had a classic liquidity crisis. They issued short-term loans to their customers and acquired long-term Treasury bonds at low rates of interest. When the rates went up quickly, those long-term bonds lost value and so, they were principally insolvent. Depositors lost confidence and commenced withdrawing their funds.”

It stays to be determined why the tech community, which is just not risk averse, decided a run on the bank was obligatory.

While it largely looks like there isn’t an endemic banking crisis like in 2008 and everybody’s deposits are protected, banks are already starting to alter their risk models for lending. This implies your ability to borrow money for a line of credit or to take a position in what you are promoting goes to be much tougher for the foreseeable future. Banks shall be offering less money at higher rates of interest and with more demands out of your balance sheet.

Tips on how to plan for the money crunch

This crisis may force you to hunt alternative sources of funding, so you have to plan accordingly. As we learned during Covid, be sure that your books are so as. Do not forget that the overwhelming majority of American businesses didn’t get much or any of that government bailout money. The Small Business Administration (SBA) issued roughly 5.2 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans out of a complete of 30 million U.S. small businesses—and that doesn’t include solopreneurs, independent contractors, and gig staff.

The principal reason that companies were shut out of PPP was simply that they didn’t have their tax returns, P&Ls, balance sheets, and other documentation able to go at a moment’s notice. Getting this stuff prepared does cost money and time, but not as much as you could think.

Accounting software, like QuickBooks, is obtainable for as little as $15 per 30 days. Also, some accounting software comes with invoicing, bank card, and other types of electronic payment acceptance, and even marketing tools. Bank card corporations, along with providing access to capital, offer many other services and helpful information on managing what you are promoting. Try Mastercard’s Master Your Card and Digital Doors programs, for instance.

Your area people will certainly have resources for locating inexpensive service providers. For instance, in Washington, DC, the Coalition for Nonprofit Housing and Economic Development (CNHED) provides technical assistance, including free accounting and legal advice to small businesses, amongst other things, to ready businesses to use for loans.

Steve Glaude, president and CEO of CNHED says, “There are various organizations on the national and native levels that provide free or low price technical assistance for small businesses, including Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which give a spread of monetary services to underserved communities. I’d advise businesses to seek out a CDFI of their community and begin a conversation.”

Other resources include SCORE and its free mentorship program, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), chambers of commerce, and municipal economic development offices.

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Grants and bank alternatives for debt funding

So, where else must you search for funds outside of your bank? For starters, it’s at all times value checking if there’s government grant money available. Covid relief funds, just like the Small Business Opportunity Fund and Community Navigator Pilot Program (CNPP) authorized by President Biden within the American Rescue Plan Act, are still working their way through the system to state and native governments. The very best place to seek out information on these federal grants is the SBA.

For those who can’t find grant opportunities, you possibly can at all times apply for an SBA loan. While the method is usually long and arduous, the rates of interest are very competitive and the chance models are lower than conventional banks.

There are also organizations, like Hello Alice, the Accion Opportunity Fund, and even private corporations like FedEx, which provide small business grants and vast libraries of “how-to” content. These grants are sometimes small amounts and are typically issued in a lottery format, in order that they will not be overly reliable, but value .

Finally, crowdfunding is now becoming a way more viable option for debt funding. SMBX, a web-based marketplace that connects small business owners with on a regular basis investors, for instance, may also help businesses borrow from $25,000 to $5 million dollars in debt at competitive rates of interest with terms starting from one to 10 years. An added bonus to crowdfunding is that promoting what you are promoting as a powerful investment can be a novel opportunity to market your services. Plus, your investors usually tend to support what you are promoting over the long run and protect their investment.

“We’ve seen an incredible uptick in issuer listings the primary quarter of 2023, even before the banking problems began,” says Lozano. “I feel businesses are starting to appreciate that they will access the capital they need, engage their customers and keep wealth of their communities in a way they will’t do with traditional banks.”

Unfortunately, with inflation still problematic enough to cause ongoing Fed rate hikes, the corresponding banking crisis, the war in Ukraine, and other issues disrupting supply chains, a recession or down market this yr is looking likely. It’s critical to learn the teachings of Covid and get your affairs so as. If there is a storm coming, the time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.

In regards to the Writer

Neil Hare is an attorney and President of GVC Strategies, where he makes a speciality of small business policy, advocacy, and communications campaigns; follow him on Twitter @nehare and on LinkedIn. See more of Neil’s articles and full bio on


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