You are an immigrant who has opened a business in the U.S. and need additional funding to secure your company’s success. The U.S. business world is complex and expansive, which can be intimidating; but this also means there are a lot of opportunities for funding. We’ve listed a few great options below:
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government entity that oversees loans and provides support for entrepreneurs. SBA loans are among the most affordable options available for small business owners, including immigrants. If you possess “an appropriate work visa” with a current date, you are likely eligible for an SBA loan.
The downside? The extensive paperwork and detailed eligibility rules that can exclude a business from consideration make receiving these loans a laborious process.
Microloans or short-term loans are great options if you lack extensive credit history. Building credit as an immigrant can be tricky, so these loans often serve as a temporary measure until you can secure more long-term funding. Microloans are great options for immigrants who are struggling to find other small business funding.
The downside? The average microloan maxes out at around $50,000 and has relatively high payments, since it is repaid over a short period of time (usually less than a year).
There are countless grant programs aimed at promoting and sustaining small businesses in the U.S., and many are available to immigrants as well.
For example, you may consider the Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs (PRIME). This grant program, administered through the SBA, offers four federal grants. Additionally, there is the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). MBDA has helped secure $3.1 billion in contracts for small businesses, including many owned by immigrants.
The downside? Competition for grants is incredibly high, with thousands of applications submitted each year. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply!
Business Line of Credit
This type of financing is something of a hybrid between a business credit card and a business loan. In these instances, a lender will make a pre-approved amount of money available to a borrower. You can then draw as much (or as little) from these funds as needed, up to the credit limit. You are able to draw from this fund whenever you need, and only pay interest on the amount of money you withdraw. This is especially helpful for times when you don’t know how much funding you will need or when you might need it.
The downside? Interest rates are likely to be much higher than other lending options.
Starting and sustaining a business is a difficult task and making sure you have sufficient funding is an important step. The options above can help ensure future success for both you and your company!
Visa Business Plans is led by Marco Scanu, a certified coach from the University of Miami with a globally-based practice coaching Fortune 1000 company executives, entrepreneurs, as well as professionals in 4 different continents. Mr. Scanu advises clients on turnaround strategies and crisis management.
Mr. Scanu received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration (Cum Laude) from the University of Florida and an MBA in Management from Bocconi University in Milan, Italy. Mr. Scanu was also a Visiting Scholar at Michigan State University under the prestigious H. Humphrey Fellowship (Fulbright program) with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Venture Capital and high-growth enterprises.
At present, Mr. Scanu is the managing partner and CEO at Visa Business Plans, a Miami-based boutique consulting firm providing attorneys and investors with business planning services in the areas of immigration and SBA loans.