Administration offers specialized help to small business owners seeking financing

The U.S. Small Business Administration's Michigan District Office is seeking small business owners for its second session of Getting to Yes!-an initiative developed to help metro Detroit business owners get the financing they need to grow their businesses. The program was created in response to concerns of business owners who found it difficult to access capital for a variety of reasons. Getting to Yes! is based on four phases-education, consultation, mock loan preparation, and individual meetings with lenders.

"This unique approach to accessing capital greatly improves the probability of accessing capital," said SBA Michigan District Director Gerald Moore. "Participants will develop a comprehensive loan package, get a chance to rehearse their pitch in front of a panel of lenders, and gain access to a wide variety of traditional and alternative lending institutions."

Recent graduate, Domenic Maiuri, CFO of Nora Contracting said, "Getting to Yes! gave me access to 13 lenders in one day. That's something I would never have without the program." The company's line of credit was significantly increased after meeting with commercial lending experts.

Participants should have two years of successful business operations, be willing to commit to the entire program during which they will complete a business plan with detailed financial projections. Business owners throughout Metro Detroit who meet the basic criteria are encouraged to apply. There is no charge for the program.

In some cases, start-up businesses in the recreation, service, food, and beverage industries located in Greater Downtown Detroit, including Corktown, Downtown, Eastern Market, Midtown, New Center and Riverfront and select neighborhoods in Southwest Detroit, West Village, and Livernois between 6 & 8 Mile may be eligible under the Invest Detroit Urban Retail Loan Fund. Start-up business owners in these industries and locations will be considered based on the following factors: having a store front presence to create foot traffic, a cash injection of 15% of the project, outside income, and owners who have experience in the industry.

The program begins March 10 and concludes April 28. For additional information on how to apply, contact Catherine Gase at catherine.gase@sba.gov. Application information and program details can be found at www.sba.gov/mi.

Published: Mon, Jan 12, 2015