Most of the time, everything goes well in your business. But occasionally, you hit bumps in the road that leave you wondering how your company will get through the next few months. There’s a better option than turning to friends or family members for the cash your business needs to get by. Two types of loans are designed specifically for small businesses when the unexpected happens—emergency loans and disaster loans. Depending on the situation you’re facing, your small business might benefit from one of these.
Emergency loans are designed for short-term aid and should be paid back quickly. They can help keep your business going while you solve the problem that made you apply for the loan in the first place. This may include anything from delayed inventory to underestimated costs.
One way to get this kind of loan is through your bank. They may offer additional business credit or a business loan. To make sure you get a good rate, speak to other banks. You might also use a business or personal credit card. This usually works well if you have low-interest rates and a high credit limit. However, this is not typically recommended if you don’t think you’ll pay this back quickly.
Another source of an emergency loan is the Small Business Administration. Once you have located the nearest SBA office, you’ll usually speak with a counselor who will go over your situation and discuss your options. These loans are usually given in amounts up to $35,000, although most businesses don’t receive the full amount. To qualify, your business should operate for at least two years. This loan can be used for six months maximum and has a one year grace period. Your interest is covered by the government and you’ll have five years to pay back your loan.
If the unexpected for your small business is a natural disaster, your business may qualify for a disaster loan to get you through. This type of loan covers both economic and physical damage and is long-term and low-interest. You may apply for a disaster loan regardless of how small your business is and can use a loan to replace or repair equipment, inventory or your building. Losses that weren’t covered by your insurance are usually covered under disaster loans as well.
Your business may apply for one of these loans if it’s in a declared disaster area and was damaged during the disaster. An inspector is usually sent to your company to estimate the damages once you have applied for a loan.
It’s hard to imagine every possible scenario your business may encounter. With emergency and disaster loans, however, your small business is covered in any event that could unfold.