Many minority small businesses are being overlooked by banks, lenders and investors. Minority small business owners looking for resources, help or even a guiding hand are now turning to the World Wide Web for answers and relevant information on how to start or expand their business.
According to the State of African American Business Survey supplied by the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA), between 1997 and 2002, African American owned businesses have outpaced the national rate of 10%, by growing at an astounding rate of 45%. The 2002 survey states these businesses have a total gross receipt of $88.8 billion, a 25% increase, and an average gross receipt of $74,000. These businesses hire 756,000 employees which is a 5% increase from 1997. Most of the African American Minority Business Enterprises are respectively located in New York, California and Florida.
With such an increasing amount of minority small business owners hitting the pavement trying to find help, funding, guidance and overall information, it behooves financial companies to listen to their small business counterparts. There is a constant need to implement programs geared for the small business owner so that they can successfully start or grow their business. These businesses are the engines that move the economy forward and keep Americans working.
Before a small business owner can get the needed monetary funding or capital to start or grow the business, there are a few important steps to complete. Small businesses must make sure they have the necessary paperwork and information in a comprehensive application presentation. Having the necessary resources available online is an extremely time saving tool which helps small business owners fill out only pertinent forms and presents the information in an easy to read and handy package. Business owners must make sure they have what lenders, banks, brokers or investors are looking for in an applicant. Small business owners must make their new business checklist, gathered from mbda.gov, which includes the following:
• Decide if your business will be a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation
• Contact the Secretary of State if you decide to incorporate and get a Federal Employer Identification Number (EIN)
• Contact the States Employment Development Department for important unemployment materials and the Workers Compensation Department
• Check with the local and state offices for license regulations
• Get all necessary information and paperwork from the IRS.
The business owner must prepare a written business plan and financial statements. This might be overwhelming to many owners, but help can be found at various non-profit and government websites. A few suggestions are the url mbda.gov (Minority Business Development Agency) and the non-profit agency at the url SCORE.org (Senior Core of Retired Engineers), (irs.gov/business/small).
Another suggestion is using iBank.com. iBank.com’s resource center compiles all the financial, insurance and investment information needed by entrepreneurs to either start a business or sustain a growing business. From equipment leasing loans, to network links, to complex questions such as business bankruptcy alternatives, iBank.com provides small business with the resources they need. It’s a one stop problem solution center.
Nearly 3 in 10 business entrepreneurs start with no working capital, making it even more challenging to survive the first few years of business, according to the US Census Bureau. And as the African American community grows from 13% to 15% by 2050, new small businesses will start or grow, giving the financial market a boost in revenue. Helping the minority small business owner is beneficial for all lending institutions, communities, states and the federal government, because it all boils down to helping the bottom line of the American economy.
Based in Costa Mesa, Calif., iBank.com, America’s largest online small business lending engine, has become a commercial marketplace for businesses seeking venture capital and angel investors, small business loans, equipment leasing, business insurance and commercial mortgage loans in real time. Formed in 1999, iBank.com utilizes advanced search engine technology, a do-it-yourself professional online digital loan package builder, and numerous other online tools for communication and connecting with more than 250 lenders nationwide for closing loans faster. The whole process, when compared to manually preparing separate loan packages and finding the right lenders, eliminates about two-thirds of the time and cuts 90% of the cost involved.