Funding Options for Small Businesses in Virginia in 2023

Looking for funding options for small businesses in Virginia in 2023?

Starting a small business can be challenging, especially when securing the necessary funding.

Fortunately, several options are available to small business owners in Virginia, including loans, alternative financing, business incubators, grants, and equity financing.

This article will explore these options in detail and help you determine which is right for your business.

Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA)

The Virginia Small Business Financing Authority (VSBFA) provides businesses, nonprofits, and economic development organizations with financing options for economic growth and expansion throughout the state.

Their programs include:

  1. Economic Development Loan Fund (EDLF)
  2. Virginia SWaM Business Microloan Fund
  3. Cash Collateral Program (CCP)

Virginia Economic Development Loan Fund (EDLF)

The Virginia Economic Development Loan Fund (EDLF) is a state-funded program for small business owners. It is designed to fill the gap in financing left after securing a bank loan.

Loan Details

  • Loan amount: EDLF loans start at $50,000 with a maximum repayment term of 10 years.
  • Requirements: A personal guarantee from anyone owning 20% or more of the business and a UCC lien on the business’s assets are necessary, as well as a non-refundable application fee of $500 and a list of financial documents.
  • Application Process: To begin the application process, interested parties should contact VSBFA and find a participating bank lender.

Eligibility

  • Annual revenue: The business must have a yearly revenue of $10 million or less, a net worth of $2 million or less, or fewer than 250 employees.
  • Location: The business must currently operate in Virginia or be in the process of relocating there.
  • Licensing: The business must be in good standing with the State Corporation Commission or other applicable state and local licensing agencies.
  • Down payment: The business must invest 10% into the project.
  • Job creation/retention: The business must create or retain jobs in Virginia.

Virginia SWaM Business Microloan Fund

The Virginia SWaM Business Microloan Fund is another program that does not require a bank lender’s participation.

Its purpose is to provide small business owners with smaller loan amounts that may not appeal to banks.

Loan Details:

  • Loan amount: The SWaM microloans go up to $25,000, with a maximum repayment term of four years.
  • Requirements: A non-refundable application fee of $100 is required.
  • Application Process: For more information on how to request funding and what documents to submit, refer to the SWaM Microloan application.

Eligibility:

The following requirements must be met to be eligible for a SWaM loan:

  • Annual revenue: The business must have an annual income of $10 million or less, a net worth of $2 million or less, or fewer than 250 employees.
  • Location: The business must currently operate in Virginia.
  • Licensing: The business must be in good standing with the State Corporation Commission or other applicable state and local licensing agencies.
  • Operating history: The business must continuously operate for at least two years.

Virginia SSBCI Cash Collateral Program

The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) Cash Collateral Program is designed to help small business owners who cannot secure financing due to insufficient collateral.

Eligibility:

The following requirements must be met to be eligible for the Virginia SSBCI Cash Collateral Program:

  • Work with a participating bank on a business loan
  • Limited Collateral: Lack of sufficient collateral, according to the bank

Loan Details:

  • Maximum amount of cash collateral support: 40% of the initial loan amount, up to $500,000
  • Loan term: Cash support is available through the first five years of a term loan and the first three years of a line of credit.
  • Process: Find a participating bank, and the bank will contact VSBFA if they require cash collateral support to approve the loan application.

Mason Enterprise Center (MEC)

The Mason Enterprise Center (MEC) is a business incubator in Fairfax City that offers a valuable opportunity for start-ups and entrepreneurs.

It provides small office space and shared office services, such as a receptionist, secretarial services, conference rooms, and office equipment facilities, helping to reduce overhead costs for businesses in their critical first few years of operation.

In addition, upon graduation and relocation to their own office space in Fairfax City, businesses are eligible for a $15,000 grant from the Fairfax City EDA to support their growth.

The MEC has a strong track record, with nearly half of all its graduate startups successfully moving into their own space in the city over the program’s first 15 years.

Joining the MEC business community provides access to dedicated mentors, funding and investment opportunities, a community of entrepreneurs, flexible lease arrangements, and conference rooms and dedicated offices.

With the support of experienced business professionals and a range of options for office space, the MEC provides the ideal environment for growing businesses to succeed.

Virginia Community Capital (VCC) Economic Equity Fund

Virginia Community Capital (VCC) is a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) established in 2006 with an initial investment of $15 million.

The organization aims to provide underserved areas with access to catalytic capital and resources, leading to the creation of jobs, the development of affordable housing, and the funding of healthcare facilities and food access projects.

VCC has financed projects that have created or retained 14,000 jobs, developed 11,000 affordable housing units, and supported 30 food access projects.

The Economic Equity Fund is a loan fund managed by VCC, providing flexible financing to small business owners who are women and/or Black, Indigenous, or People of Color (BIPOC) and were disproportionately affected by the economic impact of the pandemic.

The program offers free technical assistance and consulting to eligible small businesses and community-based partners. Recently, VCC secured additional grant funding to support this program further, extending its benefits to qualified borrowers across the Commonwealth.

Eligibility:

The following requirements must be met to be eligible for the Virginia SSBCI Cash Collateral Program:

  • Business acquisition
  • Debt refinancing
  • Equipment financing
  • Owner-occupied real estate
  • Working capital lines of credit

Loan Application Requirements

  • BIPOC- and/or women-owned
  • In operation for 18 months or longer
  • Loan amount is $1 million or less
  • Generally, businesses should be located in and/or support a low-to-moderate- or moderate-income community in Virginia.

Virginia Small Business Grants 2023/2024

Small business grants can be a valuable source of funding for business owners, with both public and private sources offering support.

The federal government offers grants in various categories for established small businesses, but these grants do not cover start-up costs.

Instead, they are targeted toward specific areas of public interest, such as research initiatives.

However, there are grants available at the state and local levels for start-up businesses that are underrepresented in the area.

These grants can support and fund these businesses as they work to get off the ground and establish themselves.

Equity Financing

Finally, you can also look into equity financing, where you sell a portion of your business in exchange for capital.

This can be a great option if you’re looking to raise a significant amount of money and are willing to give up a portion of ownership in your business.

However, it’s essential to consider the long-term implications of equity financing, as giving up a portion of your business can limit your control over decision-making and impact your ability to make profits.

Conclusion

In conclusion, several funding options are available to small businesses in Virginia. This includes government programs, alternative financing, business incubators, grants, and equity financing.

By researching and carefully considering your options, you can find the right funding solution for your business and help it achieve its goals.