Search
georgia

Georgia Small Business Loans

Without a doubt, the state of Georgia presents an excellent place for starting and growing your own business. It is home to over one million small businesses, and it isn’t surprising: there are plenty of financial support opportunities available from both conventional and online lenders, as well as government and charitable organizations. In this article, we are going to take a look at the best options for obtaining a small business loan in Georgia, along with government grants and other forms of assistance available to local small businesses.

Written by Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk - Independent writer and content strategist, updated on 9/10/2021

At a glance Georgia has over a million small businesses, and more are appearing every day. It’s one of the best states to get a business loan as numerous lenders and non-financial resources are available. The average loan amount in Georgia is $124,893, with interest rates ranging from 3% - 7% on average. The loans provided often range between $13,000 - $1.2 million. So how can you go about getting your business financing, and where should you look for loan providers? Read on to find out more.

Top Georgia Small Business Loan Options

The top methods for obtaining small business loans in Georgia are listed below.

1. State Small Business Credit Initiative

The federal Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 spawned the Georgia State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). This act provides that each state gets federal money to expand local loan services that help small businesses. Georgia now supports small enterprises with two forms of financial assistance.

Georgia Loan Participation Program

Georgia state will buy up to a maximum of 25% of a small business loan granted to a company by a private investor or bank. The state's current maximum loan is $250,000. Loans vary between $100,000 and $5 million.

Georgia Small Business Credit Guarantee

Up to half of a small business loan in Georgia is guaranteed by the state. The estimated value is $400,000, with a $200,000 guarantee. Banks and participating lenders maintain their discretion regarding underwriting loans and their agreements with small business owners under the SSBCI. The state’s assurance lowers the lender's liability and allows them to lend to small business people who may not qualify otherwise.

2. Southwest Georgia United

Southwest Georgia United is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) that provides small companies with microloans and business loans in 14 counties of Georgia. They go up to $250,000, with a limit of 75% of the overall project expense. Interest rates as low as 6% are available, with repayment periods of up to 10 years. These loans may be used for operating capital as well as machinery, property, and construction investments. 

The microloans offered are only accessible to companies in Georgia's rural areas and cover 75% of the project expenses, up to $50,000. Stock, materials, operating capital, facilities, and debt refinancing are potential applications for these loans. Microloans have interest rates that start at 6% and can last up to 10 years, much like regular business loans. To get started, go to Southwest Georgia United's office in Vienna, Georgia, or call them.

3. Albany Community Together

Although Albany Community Together is a CDFI, it works uniquely. To offer gap funding, Albany collaborates with banking institutions and conventional lending institutions. For instance, if you require $50,000 to purchase equipment but the lender only provides $30,000, Albany Community Together can help you make up the difference.

Several loan services are available to companies in 35 counties of Georgia. Albany is a member of the SSBCI, and the SBA has allowed them to offer microloans. They also have City of Albany business loans customized to the needs of companies in Albany.

4. Small Business Assistance Corporation

The Small Business Assistance Corporation is a CDFI that offers loans to companies in Savannah, Georgia, and South Carolina. They invest in a range of SBA funding schemes and offer a variety of other loan options. 

A credit builder loan of $1,000 is available for small businesses as one of their loan options. SBAC reports your loan payments to the credit bureaus to help you boost your credit rating and apply for more significant amounts of credit.

SBAC also provides contract loan programs for companies that need financing to complete contracts for the municipal government. The SBAC's small steps loan program is another successful program. As businesses repay what they borrow, small business owners may qualify for larger loans and extended payment periods.

5. Delta Community Credit Union

Credit unions, which are often ignored by small businesses, may be an excellent source of working capital. Credit unions limit who is eligible for their lending services to a particular demographic. Because of this, they often offer lower fees, better interest rates, and more benefits than banks.

Delta Community Credit Union is Georgia's largest credit union, serving everyone who resides, works, and owns a company in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Commercial real estate bonds, SBA loans, machinery, car financing, and even business credit lines are all available through Delta Community Credit Union. To get more details, contact one of Delta's business bankers or go to one of Georgia’s credit union branches.

Summary Table

Institution

Type of loan

Rates

Terms

Amounts

State Small Business Credit Initiative

Loan participation program,


Loan guarantee program

Depends on the initial lender

Depends on the initial lender

25% of the initial loan up to $250,000


50% of the initial loan up to $200,000

Southwest Georgia United

Business loans,


Microloans

75% of costs up to $250,000

75% of costs up to $50,000

Average 6% on both types

Up to 10 years on both types

Albany Community Together

Gap funding

$50,000 to $250,000

Three months to 72 months

Depends on the current market rate and the loan risk

Small Business Assistance Corporation

Credit builder loans,

Contract loan programs,

Small steps loans

$1,000


It depends on contract costs

Up to $10,000

Up to 10 years for all loan types

Depends on the current market rate

Delta Community Credit Union

Commercial real estate bonds, SBA loans, machinery, car financing, and even business credit lines

It depends on what you need the loan for

Up to 240 months

It depends on the term and amount borrowed

Top Online Georgia Small Business Loan Options

Businesses should also consider applying for online business loans that are available alongside small business loans from conventional lenders. Here are some of our recommendations.

1. Fora Financial

Fora Financial is a reliable online lending platform providing easy access to much-needed funding for thousands of small businesses in Georgia. This fintech lender offers short-term loans and merchant cash advances between $5,000 and $500,000 in value. The loans are available for businesses operating in over 100 industries, from hospitality and tourism, to transport and construction.

Fora Financial provides 24-hour approvals, with fund disbursement taking 72 hours. To be eligible for a loan from this lender, you need to make sure that your business is at least 6 months old and has an annual revenue of at least $12,000. Furthermore, you should not have any currently unsettled or open bankruptcies.

2. Fundbox

Fundbox provides up to $100,000 in short-term business credit lines that are repayable in 12 or 24 weeks. Fundbox requires three months of financial business history, a current credit score above 500, and annual sales of $25,000 to be eligible. To apply, simply link your business banking account or other accounting software to the Fundbox app, eliminating the need to enter a lot of business details manually.

3. Credibly

Credibly offers quick small business loans with generous repayment terms, which makes the lender incredibly popular among Georgia entrepreneurs. One of the most popular types of financial products offered by Credibly is a short-term working capital loan, which can amount up to $400,000, with repayment terms anywhere between 6 and 18 months. 

A longer-term alternative is a business expansion loan, which can be repaid in 3 to 10 years. While the loan amount can range widely (between $150,000 and $5,000,000), this type of loan must be used for only one purpose: for business expansion.

Other types of financial products offered by Credibly include government-backed SBA loans, merchant cash advances, invoice factoring, business lines of credit, equipment financing, and more.

Additional Georgia Small Business Financial Resources

Although the state of Georgia does not usually offer Georgia small business grants, there are a variety of other lending options available, including from local banks. Georgia's alternative funding options, as well as federal grants and loans, are listed below.

Community Development Financial Institutions

The Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) are lenders with credit portfolios that include various Georgia small business loans. These private financial institutions are dedicated to delivering affordable, responsible lending to support small businesses and organizations within low-wealth, low-income, and other disadvantaged communities.

Georgia CDFIs include community development credit unions and banks, as well as non-regulated institutions like venture capital funds or non-profit loan funds. Some examples include Citizens Trust Bank, 1st Choice Credit Union, Small Business Assistance Corporation, Georgia Cities Foundation, and more.

Green Loans

Georgia Green Loans is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the growth of eco-friendly small businesses, services, and products within the state. So, if you are a small business owner within the state of Georgia looking to reduce your energy consumption, you are welcome to apply for the program. This way, you will be able to reduce your total cost of operations, while protecting our planet at the same time. 

These green loans may also be used to purchase environmentally friendly goods or pay for an established company’s services. 

Wells Fargo Loans

Wells Fargo is Georgia's leading small business loan provider. They’re Georgia's most successful SBA lender.

Department of Agriculture Rural Development

There are grant and loan schemes available to assist small and new companies in creating and retaining jobs. For example, the Department of Agriculture Rural Development is devoted to helping to improve the quality of life and economy in rural parts of the country through a number of programs. By partnering with financial institutions and community-based organizations, it is able to provide important technical, financial, and business development assistance.

Other Resources for Georgia Small Businesses

Georgia is a premier location for small businesses not only because of its regulations, higher learning institutions, and low cost of living; the state's services are also crucial in developing an environment that promotes entrepreneurship. If you're thinking about starting a company or are already doing so, here are some state government tools to help you get started.

Georgia Learning Centers 

This website is excellent for those that want to start a company but don't know where to begin. The SBA's Georgia chapter provides a connection to learning facilities with free lessons on developing business plans, recognizing legal standards, and even social media marketing tips. If you're just getting started, this is a great place to begin learning how to start a company.

SCORE Association Business Mentorship 

The SCORE Business Mentorship program is another opportunity built by the Georgia government and SBA collaboration. SCORE is another nonprofit organization funded by the Small Business Administration that encourages enterprise owners to mentor and guide aspiring entrepreneurs. You can meet these volunteers online or in person at the SCORE office.

Chamber of Commerce   

The Chamber of Commerce has become a valuable resource for entrepreneurs, whether they operate a small shop or a big company. The Chamber works on topics that concern the state's business sector. Members may attend business training sessions organized through the Chamber's SBA Council and engage in networking activities to meet fellow entrepreneurs.

The Chamber even represents local business owners at the federal level to seek new business buyers through incentives and exclusive deals. The Chamber of Commerce will keep you updated on industry developments and probably find your next customer, partner, or investor.

How to Prepare for a Georgia Small Business Loan

Despite the variety of lending schemes and solutions available, most lenders are searching for the same three things regarding small business loan requirements in Georgia. To plan a good business loan application, pay attention to the following.

  • Business Plan

When starting a new company and looking for loans, among the most crucial documents you'll write is your business plan. While online lenders don’t usually require business plans, they’re required when you're applying for funding from a bank, credit union, or nonprofit organizations. It's a good test to see whether you have reasonable goals for your business. 

Your business plan will include a concise description of the company's products or services offered, target client base, competition, and financial forecasts, as well as your company's concept. Lenders often use the business plan’s financial forecasts to determine how much money your company is eligible for.

  • Credit History

When you apply for a small business loan, your credit background is crucial. The higher your credit rating, the more lending services you'll qualify for and the lower the interest rate will be. To keep your account in good condition, look at your credit score daily, correct any mistakes, and keep paying all current credit card and loan payments in a timely fashion. 

You may have a slim credit report if you haven’t focused on financing too much in the past. In this case, consider applying for a credit builder loan. Bear in mind, raising your credit rating can take some time, so keep track of your credit background long before you start looking for financing.

  • Business Revenues

Revenues are critical to the lending process, whether you have a brand new enterprise or one that has been around for a while. In the eyes of lenders, a company with sales, or at the very least a market-ready commodity, represents a serious business and is more likely to gain funding. Although nonprofits do have startup company funding, existing companies with a steady income stream have more finance options.

The Bottom Line

Governments, nonprofits, insurers, credit unions, and internet lenders all provide loans to Georgia small businesses. It's critical to consider all of your national, local, and state outlets’ choices before deciding on your business’s best approach. Obtaining Georgia small business loans may seem like a difficult challenge. However, getting your company to a higher level with the proper banking or online partner may be simpler than you expect.