Weekly Small Business News Roundup #1: SBA Improve PPP Loans, No Collateral Loans, Best Small Business Loans

Hi everyone,

A happy new year and welcome to the first installment of the weekly small business news roundup! Every Friday, we will update you on what is happening in the small business world! This week there are lots going on with SBA PPP loans, the best small business loans of 2021, and a Chicago non profit interesting approach to funding small businesses during the pandemic.

Happy reading.

Help is on the way for small businesses to access PPP loans…

The SBA Takes Steps to Improve First Draw Paycheck Protection Program Loan Review (SBA)

The U.S. Small Business Administration is taking steps to improve the First Draw Paycheck Protection Program loan review so that small businesses have as much time as possible to access much needed PPP funds. The Biden-Harris Administration is focused on ensuring small businesses receive the support they need to keep their doors open and continue to employ millions of Americans across the country. The Administration is working with the Agency to identify immediate solutions to address eligibility, compliance, integrity, and promote transparency. 

From employees to the boss …

Research reveals 68% of American employees have skills they can apply to a successful small business (SWNS Digital)

Three out of every five American employees now say they will stop at nothing to become their own boss, new research suggests. In a recent survey of 2,500 people — including 500 small business owners — four in 10 (40%) full-time or part-time employees said they currently do freelance work in addition to their day job, while another three in 10 (30%) run their own business on the side. Of those same responses, 60% said they’re committed to the idea of working for themselves instead of an employer, citing an interest in following their passion (57%), a belief that they could be a resource to others (53%), and a desire to set their own schedule (52%).

Good news for small business owners struggling to get traditional loans…

No credit score, collateral needed for these small-business loans (Chicago Tribune)

A nonprofit community lender is taking a new approach to small-business lending in Chicago: It will no longer consider credit scores or collateral in deciding whether an applicant should get a loan. The decision to drop two standard lending metrics is part of an overall strategy change at Allies for Community Business, formerly known as Accion Chicago, which lends $500 to $100,000 to small businesses that struggle to get traditional bank financing. Now, it is strengthening the free coaching services offered to entrepreneurs while expanding access to funds after watching small businesses struggle to navigate fast-moving regulations and financial assistance programs during the pandemic.

Speaking of loans, on the market for the best small business loans?

The Best small business loans of 2021 (CNBC)

Small business loans can help you get access to cash for starting, expanding or keeping your business up and running. There are several types of small business loans that support a variety of needs, such as starting a franchise, purchasing property or getting cash when you have a stack of unpaid invoices. With so many choices and so many types of businesses out there, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the best financing option. In order to help you find the best small business loans on the market, CNBC Select reviewed five different types of loans: term loans, equipment loans, commercial real estate loans, microloans and franchise loans.

How did small businesses spend in the early days of COVID?

How small business owners spent — and saved — early in COVID-19 (MIT)

While plenty of research has examined the plight of small businesses during COVID-19, a new study is the first of its kind to look at how small business owners spent — and didn’t spend — their own money in the early days of the pandemic. Could a more coordinated, national response have helped them better weather the economic uncertainty? “We wanted to look at how different types of shocks filter through from the business to the owner, and how a shock to the owner themselves affects the business,” said Antoinette Schoar, one of the study’s co-authors and a professor of finance and entrepreneurship at MIT Sloan.

Need to know for 2021 …

5 Trends to Watch in 2021 from the MetLife and U.S. Chamber’s Small Business Index (US Chamber of Commerce)

2020 was a rough year for America’s small businesses. But despite one of the sharpest downturns in American history, many small businesses demonstrated unprecedented grit, determination, and adaptability. Not surprisingly, amidst the craziness of 2020, small businesses continued to find ways to give back to their communities. We tracked many of these trends in the MetLife and U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index (SBI).

On tax policies …

Opinion: 5 tax-related policies Biden can push to help small businesses truly recover from COVID-19 (MarketWatch)

As President Joe Biden and his administration establish their plans to combat the pandemic and revive the economy, one thing cannot be understated—small businesses and entrepreneurs are in a battle for their long-term survival. Drawing from the real-life experience of entrepreneurs, it is clear that poorly considered tax policy has an impact on the success of small firms. Likewise, well-targeted relief and reform—now more than ever—could be crucial for helping small-business owners keep their doors open.

Majority of small businesses are hiring in 2021 …

51% of U.S. Small Businesses Are Hiring in 2021 Despite Ongoing Effects of Pandemic, Survey Finds

Small businesses have faced adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, but may be poised for a year of growth. Half of small businesses in the U.S. (51%) are likely to hire new employees in 2021, according to a new survey from The Manifest, the leading resource for B2B buying decisions. Whether a small business is hiring, however, depends on their revenue projections for 2021. The survey of 500 small businesses in the U.S. found about two-thirds of small businesses (63%) that predict revenue growth in 2021 plan to hire new employees, versus just 39% of small businesses predicting a decrease in revenue.

Apple vs. Facebook fights…

Apple vs. Facebook Battle Shines Light on Opportunities For Small Businesses (CustomerThink)

“Standing up to Apple for small businesses,” declared a Facebook ad in The Wall Street Journal in the latest clash in a long-running feud between two of the world’s most valuable companies. That ad was part of a massive campaign against Apple’s decision to allow users to opt-out of tracking if they so choose, which Facebook claims will diminish small businesses’ ability to target clients. But this battle royale holds a larger lesson for small businesses: instead of fixating on customer acquisition, customer loyalty should be top priority.

Crowdfund your small business …

Here’s How Struggling Small Businesses Can Get Game-Changing Grants on GoFundMe (People)

With small businesses across the country struggling with closures and layoffs amid the coronavirus pandemic, some have been relying on GoFundMe to make ends meet. In response to the ongoing pandemic and its devastating effects on the economy, the fundraising platform launched a Small Business Relief Initiative, a place for people and organizations to give any financial assistance they can.

L’Oreal + NAACP = grants for Black-owned small businesses

L’oreal USA partners with NAACP to launch grant program to support black-owned small businesses (BlackEnterprise)

Beauty giant L’Oreal announced that they will launch a new business grant program to help Black-owned brands. “We are proud to team up with the NAACP to advance our shared mission of creating a more inclusive and equitable world during this time of great economic vulnerability for so many. We hope the Inclusive Beauty Fund will introduce us to entrepreneurs in the beauty industry that we can build strong relationships with well into the future.”


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