There’s a serious credit crunch out there right now, as anyone in business — particularly small- to mid-sized business — knows. Remember all that TARP bank bailout money from fall 2008? The biggest recipients of federal dollars continue to cut lending to small companies and seven of the top 11 TARP banks cut their small business loan balances every reporting month from the time they received taxpayers dollars through the end of 2009. Small Business Administration-backed loans are taking up some of the slack, but where else can a small company turn when looking for loans for business or just extra operating capital?
Merchant cash advance
One option is the merchant cash advance market. This industry has existed for around a decade and has really ramped up during these tough economic times coupled with an extremely tight credit industry. Merchant cash advance providers give businesses a lump sum of immediate cash in exchange for a percentage of future sales or future credit receivables. A disadvantage of a merchant cash advance is the equivalent interest rate can be pretty high when compared to a more traditional business bank loan or line of credit, but this capitalization option does offer some advantages over working through a bank.
The key upside is it’s available, and right now a bank loan in this credit market just might not be an option. Other advantages include a relatively quick approval process, bad credit won’t prevent you from obtaining a merchant cash advance and the only collateral you really need is strong credit card sales.
If you decide to pursue a merchant cash advance remember to consider the money you’re advanced as a loan to be repaid, not as just some extra cash going into the business account. Merchant cash advances aren’t the best way to capitalize your business, but they serve a very necessary function for businesses looking for, or needing, liquidity in a tight credit economy.