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Kentucky Small Business Loans

Small businesses are an essential part of Kentucky's economy. The latest Small Business Administration statistics show that there are around 344,000 small businesses in Kentucky, accounting for around 99% of all Kentucky-based businesses. Small businesses, employing a workforce of about 687,000 employees, flourish in Kentucky.

At a glance Lending institutions disbursed some 46,700 loans—under $100,000— totaling around $683.1 million in Kentucky (Source: FFIEC). Comprehensive analysis shows that the Bluegrass State is one of the best places for small business owners to achieve growth—by getting a business loan or obtaining available Kentucky small business grants.

Top Three Kentucky Small Business Loan Options 

Let’s take a look at three of the best Kentucky small business loans on the market:  

1. Capital Access Corporation - Kentucky

Capital Access Corporation - Kentucky is the leading provider of Small Business Administration 504 loans in the state of Kentucky. 

A 504 loan presents a government-backed commercial real estate loan that allows small businesses to purchase equipment or real estate. The maximum loan amount for an SBA 504 loan from Capital Access Corporation is $5 million, and the interest rate remains fixed over the repayment period of 10, 20, or 25 years.

In order to qualify, you need to make sure that your project promotes economic development and job creation in the state, and the total project cost is at least $100,000. While the loan application fee is rather expensive at $750, the amount will be refunded should your loan application get approved.

2. Commonwealth Bank and Trust

Commonwealth Bank and Trust is a regional bank with offices in and around Louisville, Kentucky. Many of their clients are local businesses who work in a wide range of industries. 

Their loan products on offer are:

  • Owner-occupied real estate
  • Working assets line of credit
  • Equipment loans
  • Lines of credit
  • Investor credit
  • SBA loans
  • Visa credit cards

The great thing about Commonwealth Bank and Trust is the fact that all loan decisions are made within the same community as your business. This means that the bank has the flexibility to develop a loan package specifically for your business needs and can provide you with a quick application decision.

3. Eclipse Bank

Eclipse Bank is a medium-sized regional bank situated in Louisville, Kentucky. The bank offers a broad range of small business loans, including:

  • Commercial real estate loans. These loans come with customizable repayment terms and competitive terms and can be used for the refinance, purchase, or construction of commercial properties.
  • Business lines of credit. Eclipse Bank offers competitive rates on business lines of credit that can be used for a variety of seasonal or long-term business needs.
  • Business term loans. Whether you require funding for equipment or working capital, customizable business term loans can offer a great option to finance a broad range of business expenses.

Summary of the Best Kentucky Small Business Loans

Provider

Features

Capital Access Corporation - Kentucky

  • Leading provider of SBA 504 loans
  • Maximum loan amount of $5 million
  • Fixed interest rates
  • 10-, 20-, or 25-year terms

Commonwealth Bank and Trust

  • Customized loan packages
  • Quick application decisions
  • A variety of loan products, including equipment loans, lines of credit, SBA loans, and more

Eclipse Bank

  • Competitive rates
  • Customized loan products, including commercial real estate loans, business lines of credit, and business term loans

Top Online Kentucky Small Business Loan Options 

A much quicker way to obtain Kentucky small business loans is to go the online lending route. Online lenders also tend to be more forgiving to businesses who have poor credit ratings. Here are some lenders to consider:

1. Kabbage - Best for Line of Credit

Kabbage is one of the very few lenders that don’t have minimum credit score requirements. They prefer to evaluate a business based on its performance. This, however, does increase the risk attached with the loan, which also makes this funding option more expensive. 

Kabbage ensures quick application processing, providing you with a decision within hours of submission. Once approved, you’ll get a Kabbage card that gives you Visa-linked access to your line of credit.

Kabbage offers various types of business loans ranging from $2,000 up to a maximum of $250,000. Rates are between 20% and 80% APR and terms are 6, 12, or 18 months. 

To qualify for a loan, you’ll need to prove that your business has a minimum revenue of $50,000 a year. Alternatively, you can show that you have had an average monthly revenue of $4,200 over the past three months. A final, non-negotiable requirement is that your business must have been in operation for at least one year.

2. Biz2Credit - Best for Term Loans

Biz2Credit presents a convenient, fast, and well-priced way to obtain a small business loan in Kentucky. With over 14 years in business, the company has established itself as a trusted and respected online loan provider.

Through Biz2Credit, you can apply for one of the three financing options:

  • Term loans ranging up to $250,000
  • Working capital loans ranging up to $6 million
  • Commercial real estate loans ranging up to $6 million

Whatever option you choose, you can expect to receive reasonable interest rates, starting from only 8.99%. While the minimum credit score and eligibility requirements might be difficult to meet for a new business, the easy application process and 72-hour turnaround times make Biz2Credit a worthy option to consider.

3. Fundbox - Best for Line of Credit

If you are looking for a flexible short-term line of credit or invoice factoring, Fundbox is a valuable resource to consider. This online fintech platform offers small business loans ranging between $1,000 and $100,000, with terms between 12 to 24 weeks. These loans don’t have any hidden fees, don’t require a collateral or personal guarantee, and have low minimum credit score requirements.

After you complete an easy online application, you can expect a quick approval and fund disbursement. In order to qualify for a loan with Fundbox, you need to make sure that your business has been in operation for at least three months and has an annual revenue of $25,000 or more. In addition, your personal credit score should be 500 or above.

4. Fora Financial - Best for Merchant Cash Advance

Fora Financial presents another online lending option providing merchant cash advances and short-term small business loans ranging between $5,000 and $500,000. While merchant cash advances don’t have any associated fixed-term repayments, short-term loans come with repayment terms ranging from 4 to 15 months.

With Fora Financial, you can enjoy fast turn-around times and expect to receive an approval decision within one business day. Should you get approved, the funds will be disbursed within only three days after application submission. 

The main eligibility criteria for Fora Financial include:

  • Minimum of six months of business operation
  • An annual business revenue of at least $12,000
  • Personal credit score of at least 500
  • No currency unsettled or open bankruptcies

Additional Kentucky Small Business Financial Resources

The following are some additional state-sponsored credit facilities and grants, relevant to small business owners in Kentucky: 

1. Amber Grant for Women

The Amber Grant Foundation was founded in 1998 with the goal of honoring the memory of Amber Wigdahl, a young woman who died at the age of 19 while realizing her business dreams. 

Today, businesswomen from Kentucky and all around the country are eligible to apply for the monthly Amber Grant, which can range up to $10,000. In addition, female entrepreneurs who apply for a monthly grant are automatically eligible for a larger year-end $25,000 grant.

2. Access Ventures

Based in Louisville, Access Ventures is an organization dedicated to building a more creative and equitable economy. This involves providing financial support to a broad range of people who wish to pursue their business ambitions. 

As such, minority, women, LGBTQ, and disadvantaged business owners that aren’t able to receive mainstream lending products, are able to apply for additional funding from Access Ventures. The company supports organizations that share its mission of creating flourishing communities and building an inclusive economy.

Other Resources for Kentucky Small Businesses

The following institutions might be of assistance to your business:

The Kentucky Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

The Kentucky SBDC doesn’t administer loans, grants, or investment capital. However, they can help you identify sources and increase the quality of your loan applications and proposals for funding.

For example, the organization provides valuable assistance with the following:

  • Assembly of effective investor and loan packages
  • Preparation of financial models and projections required by lenders and investors
  • Analysis of current financial performance and appropriate recommendations
  • Development of business plans and business models
  • Networking and introduction to lenders and investors

SCORE

SCORE is an all-volunteer organization that provides free education and mentorship to help you start, grow, and succeed in business. 

The mentor volunteers at SCORE have years of real-world experience and are ready to guide small business owners as they work toward fulfilling their business goals and ambitions. The mentoring is free of charge and can be conducted by telephone, virtual meeting, email, at your place of business, or at an agreed location.

In addition, SCORE conducts regularly scheduled, low-cost educational workshops on the topics related to establishing and managing a successful business.

How to Prepare for a Kentucky Small Business Loan

You must attend to the following before proceeding with your Kentucky small business loan application:

  • Business bank account: You should already have a business bank account. Should you be approaching a different bank for a loan, have your existing bank statements readily available.
  • Credit score: Make sure to check your credit score and work on improving it if necessary. This can involve checking your credit report for mistakes, paying off any outstanding debts, and keeping your credit balances low at all times.
  • Business registration: Make sure that your papers and licenses are in order.
  • Business plan: Have your business plan in hand. A good business plan should include an executive summary, the marketing analysis and strategy, the products and services offered by your business, a budget, and financial projections.
  • Business revenues: The higher your revenues, the better for the consideration of your application.

The Bottom Line

When looking for a small business loan in Kentucky, it is important not to limit yourself to traditional lenders alone. In addition to locally-based banks and credit unions, online lenders and platforms offer a broad range of financial products that can be easier to qualify for. 

In addition, the state of Kentucky provides a variety of financial- and non-financial support, which includes business grants for minority- or female-owned companies, as well as mentorship and low-cost training workshops. So, whatever route you decide to take, you can be confident that you won’t be left alone on your business journey.