What financing options are available?
Whether you own an existing business or plan to start a new one it is very likely that you will need capital and outside resources to accomplish your goals. There are many organizations and institutions that are available to you as a prospective or existing business owner.
Mentorship, professional guidance, business resources
Most successful business owners enter into a new venture or consider expansion only after careful planning and analysis. There are a number of organizations that provide free support and mentoring for new or expanding businesses.
SCORE - Williamsburg Chapter
SCORE consists of retired executives who volunteer their time to counsel with and mentor new and existing business owners. Services include assistance with business plans, growth planning and problem solving. SCORE serves as the local chapter of the Small Business Development Center. The SBDC website has a host of information that is valuable to business owners.
Ignition is a 501 (c)3 business accelerator based in Williamsburg, Virginia at 1006 Richmond Rd, on the third floor. Founded by entrepreneurs, we provide support, complimentary office space, resources, and direct investment to help entrepreneurs achieve their dreams. Our goal is to develop an idea and swiftly take it to market. We provide design, branding, web, app, and other services to help people achieve this goal.
Greater Williamsburg Launchpad
The communities of York County, James City County, and the City of Williamsburg, have partnered with the Small Business Development Center to provide entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses with the amenities, counseling, and services necessary to grow a successful business via the Greater Williamsburg Business Incubator. Launchpad is a facility that provides a comprehensive support process designed to assist and accelerate the successful development and growth of start-up and young companies. This is accomplished through a carefully designed incubation program of business education, targeted services, networking, and other programs designed to help the entrepreneur.
Virginia Department of Business Assistance The VDBA website provides a number of resources on its websites in regards to business creation and expansion. Items of note include:
- Information for start ups
- Financing opportunities - direct loans as well as loan guaranty program
- Workforce Development programs
The SBA website provides a wealth of information to business owners to include:
- Information on federal loan guaranty programs
- Government Grant programs
- Numerous publications discussing starting or managing your own business
Banks and Credit Unions are the most traditional source of capital for new or existing businesses. Most banks have lenders who specialize in working with small businesses. Bankers will likely want to review the following documents at the first meeting:
- Copy of the business plan
- Personal financials to include several years personal tax returns and personal financial statement
- Business financials (if existing business)
Banks, Credit Unions & Mortgage Companies
1st Advantage Federal Credit Union
Old Point National Bank
Loan Guaranty Programs
Because the risk is greater with startup businesses, many financial institutions will team up with government entities that provide loan guaranties. Several of these loan guaranty programs are listed below:
- Virginia Small Business Financing Authority: The VSBFA is the Commonwealth of Virginia's economic development and financing arm
- US Small Business Administration: The SBA facilitates all federal business loan programs
- United States Department of Agriculture: The USDA provides loans and grants to businesses to encourage rural development and agricultural growth
Economic Development Incentives
Although there are more resources available than ever for business capital, finding the financing you need for your business may be difficult. Many startups, particularly those that are more out of the ordinary, are unable to finance through traditional means. Many business owners turn to friends and family for initial or growth capital. Others turn to private investors, called Angels.
To encourage economic growth in their locality, cities and counties will often offer business owners grants to assist them in specific areas of business formation. These differ by jurisdiction and are often adjusted to support current economic conditions.
Alternative Sources of Capital
Although there are more resources available than ever for business capital, finding the financing you need for your business may be difficult. Many startups, particularly those that are more out of the ordinary, are unable to finance through traditional means. Many business owners turn to friends and family for initial or growth capital. Others turn to private investors, called Angels, or venture capitalists. Much information is available on the internet that can help you make prudent decisions with respect to alternative sources of capital. Also, reaching out to the Greater Williamsburg Launchpad or the Mason School of Business at the College of William & Mary may yield some useful insights for alternative capital sources and strategies.