Small business owners often have trouble deciding on whether to take an alternative or traditional loan, and the positives and negatives of each. With Access to Capital San Diego coming up on Thursday, we wanted to help alleviate some of the confusion. So we talked to Comerica Bank, a traditional lender, and Accion, an alternative lender, so that you might be able to get multiple perspectives on the process. Valery Belloso from Accion, a non profit organization that provides business support and loans from $300 – $50,000, and James Hunt from Comerica Bank, which provides traditional loans for small businesses, shared with us their insights on working in the two different areas of small business loans.
“Accion’s flexible requirements allow us to help entrepreneurs that other lenders often can’t,” Belloso explained. “This helps our clients build or grow viable businesses and create a social and economic impact in our communities.”
The relationship between the two types of vendors is complementary, as both companies have the client’s success as their first priority. Comerica ensures that if they can not offer a traditional loan at the time, they help the business stay on track to eventually become a business the can partner with. The goal is to continue their relationship with the customer and continuing consulting with them until they can qualify for traditional lending.
“When we decline a customer, we’ll tell them why; maybe there’s a cash-flow issue or not sufficient enough collateral,” Hunt clarified. “We’ll help them set a goal to revisit the relationship in the next three to six months to make sure they’re on the right track to making their business lendable to banks.”
With these goals in mind, both are ready to meet with small business owners about loans at the Access to Capital San Diego Event on June 5th. If you are planning on attending, make sure to be prepared! Both organizations suggest crunching numbers beforehand, so you know exactly what your business’s lending needs will be. Have your two to five year business and general plan ready, and be prepared to both ask and answer questions.
“I recommend knowing what your credit looks like so in the event you have some credit challenges, you can determine which lending options are available to you in spite of those challenges,” Belloso advised.
Whether your business would benefit from traditional loans or alternative loans, the organizations at the Access to Capital San Diego Event want to help your small business grow.
“Having an entrepreneurial spirit myself, I like hearing about people who have had interest in an industry take a leap of faith,” remarked Hunt. “Seeing them succeed is inspirational.”
Access to Capital San Diego is taking place June 5th at the San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina from 8:00am to 2:00pm. Make sure to register to attend and set your matchmaking meetings with Accion, Comerica, and our other lenders.
Photo Cred: @aricsoncarts, Flickr