Finance Your Business

Improve your odds of business success by understanding your financing needs as well as the options that are available to help you start, manage and grow your business.

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 Financing

​​​​Business Information​ Services​​​​​

Virginia Business One Stop is an interactive portal designed to accelerate business formation and provide information for existing businesses. The online registration system will walk a potential business owner through each step needed to establish their new business. In addition, BOS helps existing businesses expand. The tool streamlines business-registration paperwork across seven agencies.

​Center for Innovative Techn​​​ology​

CIT helps grow Virginia's technology industry. Its CIT Entrepreneur program provides up to $100,000 in funding for promising high-growth technology companies and helps owners identify potential equity investors.

Contac​t

Center for Innovative Technology
2214 Rock Hill Road, Suite 600
Herndon, VA 20170-4228
(703) 689-3000
www.cit.org

Virginia Small B​usiness Financing Authority (VSBFA)

VSBFA “Small Business” Definition
  1. Must be operating in Virginia, and licensed/good standing with SCC, local, or other licensing authority
  2. Meet ONE of the following:  Under $10M annual revenues or under $2 million tangible net worth or have less than 250 Virginia employees (some programs also require less than 750 total employees), or be a 501c3. ​

All real estate loans are “owner occupied commercial real estate.” No investment or residential.

VSBFA Direct Loan Progra​ms​

VSBFA makes a loan directly to Borrower typically either subordinate to the bank or secured by separate assets. Borrower applies directly to VSBFA which underwrites, closes, and manages the credit. ​
For all VSBFA Loans:
  • Response time once VSBFA has received all required information: 1 week if VSBFA exposure is no more than $500,000 approximately 1 month if VSBFA exposure exceeds $500,000
  • Existing companies must have history of profitable operations and satisfactory debt payment.
  • Startups must have business plans and projections.
  • VSBFA requires guarantees and pledge of all available business and personal collateral.
  • Minimum 10% cash equity expected for startups, more for existing businesses.
  • VSBFA programs cannot be used to compensate for fundamental business weakness.
  • No prepayment fees or closing costs aside from direct transaction costs. 

Loan Types

  • Economic Development Loan
    Maximum 40% of total project cost not to exceed $500,000
    For real estate and improvements, furniture/fixtures/equipment, permanent working capital
    $500 application fee, recent fixed rate 4%
    Start up or existing business
    Focus on acceptable job creation/retention relative to loan amount                                                                                                 
  • Micro-loan
    Maximum $10,000 -25,000
    48 month repayment
    $100 fee, 6.25% fixed rate
    Any business purpose other than investment real estate
    Must have been operational at least 2 years
    Owners’ credit scores must be at least 650 each
  • Child Care Loan
    Maximum $150,000 per location for centers, $10,000 for home based providers
    60 month repayment
    Borrower must be licensed and in good standing with Virginia Department of Social Services.
    Funds materials, equipment, supplies,  playground, mini-buses, fencing
    $100 application fee, 4% fixed rate
  • Bank Credit Support Programs
    Bank underwrites/commits to loan subject to VSBFA involvement.
  • Cash Collateral
    VSBFA pledges cash collateral to the bank to help back a business loan
    Maximum $500,000 or 40% of the loan amount, whichever is less.
    Maximum involvement—5 years for term loans, 3 years for credit lines
    Cost  $200 application fee
    Loan Guaranty-VSBFA provides an additional guaranty to the bank
    Maximum 75% of the loan amount or $750,000, whichever is less
    Maximum involvement-7 years for term loans, 5 years for credit lines
    Cost $200 application fee, 1.5% of the guaranteed amount due at closing
  • Loan Participation
    VSBFA buys a portion of a bank loan
    Maximum $500,000 or 40% of the loan amount, whichever is less.
    Maximum hold period 10 years
    $500 application fee, VSBFA receives same interest rate as Bank

Contact

Mary Jo Sisson-Vaughan,
Regional Lending Manager, Virginia Small Business Loan Programs​
Hampton Roads, Southern VA, Central VA Areas
(804)​ 371-8184

 Loans

If you’re planning to start a business or expand an existing business, you might need financing help. SBA participates in a number of loan programs designed for business owners who may have trouble qualifying for a traditional bank loan.

To start the process, you should visit a local bank or lending institution that participates in SBA programs. SBA loan applications are structured to meet SBA requirements, so that the loan is eligible for an SBA guarantee. This guarantee represents the portion of the loan that SBA will repay to the lender if you default on your loan payments.

​The SBA Loan Application Checklist​ provides a listing of forms and documents you and your lender will need to create a loan package to submit to SBA.

 Grants

The federal government does NOT provide grants for starting and expanding a business.

Government grants are funded by your tax dollars and therefore require very stringent compliance and reporting measures to ensure the money is well spent.  As you can imagine, grants are not given away indiscriminately.

Grants from the federal government are only available to non-commercial organizations, such as non-profits and educational institutions in areas such as, medicine, education, scientific research and technology development. The federal government also provides grants to state and local governments to assist them with economic development.

Some business grants are available through state and local programs, non-profit organizations and other groups. For example, some states provide grants for expanding child care centers; creating energy efficient technology; and developing marketing campaigns for tourism. These grants are not necessarily free money, and usually require the recipient to match funds or combine the grant with other forms of financing such as a loan. The amount of the grant money available varies with each business and each grantor.

​If you are not one of these specialized businesses, both federal and state government agencies provide financial assistance programs that helps small business owners obtain low-interest loans and venture capital financing​ from commercial lenders.