FAQs

Most businesses are financed by a combination of owner’s equity (owner’s investment) and a commercial loan. If an entrepreneur is seeking a commercial loan, the lending bank is likely to require the owner contribute 10%-20% of the total amount needed for the project.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) programs are designed to encourage commercial lenders to make loans directly to business owners or entrepreneurs. The SBA does not make loans directly to businesses.

This is an urban myth. While there are thousands of grant programs across the country, most are not targeted toward for-profit businesses. Careful research may reveal small, isolated opportunities in specific markets from state and local governments. However, as a general rule, federal grant dollars are not available to help most small businesses.

Click here for more information on grants from the State of Ohio.

A borrower’s credit score is critical to the approval of a commercial loan. While there are occasional exceptions, most lenders want a credit score of 650 or better for a commercial loan. In addition, a recent bankruptcy (last 7 years) is almost always a non-starter.

The WBENC certification for women-owned businesses is one of the most widely recognized certifications in the nation.  Being certified as a WBE means that a business concern has gone through a rigorous certification process to confirm the business is owned, managed, and controlled by a woman or women.  For more information, see http://www.wbenc.org.

There are, but it depends on the target customers the business is seeking. Many government contracts and some larger businesses have set-aside agreements, providing a declared percentage of opportunities for women, veterans, minorities, etc. If the government agencies or these larger businesses are your target customers, then having the business owned 51% or more by a woman may make sense, so long as she is also actively involved and/or in control of the business activities.

Your chance for success is going to be much greater if you are taking on risks that you understand as opposed to risks you don’t understand. If you are going to need a loan to get your business started, the lenders will strongly prefer that you are experienced in the new business.

Key advisors should be knowledgeable about small business issues in general and about your specific type of business in particular. Naturally, the Small Business Development Center at the Clermont Chamber of Commerce is the best place to start. Over the long haul, you will benefit the most from an accountant, attorney, insurance agent and banking relationship.

Entrepreneurs and business owners who understand and are dedicated to good planning are usually the most successful. Good planning generally starts with; selecting the right business structure, setting up correct accounting procedures, obtaining all necessary registrations and licenses, securing appropriate business insurance, and establishing a business banking relationship.

The Small Business Development Center at the Clermont Chamber of Commerce can help the small business owner develop the plan for success.

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