I work for a nonprofit small business consulting center and I’ve never seen a time where lending was so tight. I don’t mean startup capital, although that stream has also dried up, but operational capital -the money any business needs to carry it through periods of slow sales or for expansion.

The banks have always made small business owners jump through hoops when it comes to lending. The application process is complicated and drawn out, business owners frequently have to put up collateral for the loan and assume personal liability, there can be closing fees and when all is said and done, approval rates are low. Those fortunate enough to secure traditional financing often find that it comes with strings attached: the bank wants a say in how the money is spent.

My clients are frustrated by the whole affair. It takes too long, it can be expensive, they are left on the hook for the loan and if the bank ends up dictating terms, well, these people got into a small business in the first place so they could be the one in charge. There goes that benefit out the window.

I often advise my clients to consider a Merchant Cash Advance instead of applying for a loan through a bank. There are a number of companies offering these products, but I tend to steer people toward one that’s received a lot of positive press lately: Rapidcapitalfunding.com. The advantages are many, including high approval rates with fast application turnaround times, no collateral is required, borrowers are not personally liable for the loan, and how the money is spent is left up to the business. Even better, repayment is based on a percentage of credit card transactions instead of a fixed monthly payment, so it takes pressure off small merchants during slower sales periods.

About The Author:

Leanne Kramer works as a small business consultant, with a primary focus on helping startup retail operations through their first few years. In many cases, she’s advocated the use of a Business Cash Advance to her clients as an alternative to traditional small business loan products offered through banks. Experience has shown that credit frequently dries up for smaller retailers during recessionary periods, so Ms. Kramer has researched Merchant Cash Advance options as a means of remaining adequately capitalized.