Your Cleveland Business Funding Options

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  2. Your Cleveland Business Funding Options

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cleveland business funding

If you’re looking to fund your business, Cleveland has options. Cleveland business funding can come from many places. To start, there are banks and credit unions. Cleveland also offers local businesses grants. If these grants and incentives don’t cut it, there are many lenders who would give you loans. The city is also offering special assistance to some businesses affected by Covid-19.

Cleveland Business Funding Grants

Before you apply for a loan, have a look at grants and other local incentives. There are grants for businesses in one of several situations. Here are some of the grants that are easier to qualify for. They may not provide everything you need, but they can help you reduce your expenses.

Job Creation Incentive Program

The JCIP was created to encourage employers to come to or maintain their operations in Cleveland. The program offers regular payments based on actual new payroll and income tax you generate for the city of Cleveland.

Businesses that are new to Cleveland or newly created in Cleveland may be eligible for this incentive. The other requirements are:

  • Creating at least 5 new full-time W-2 jobs in Cleveland
  • Being in any industry except:
    • Restaurants
    • Charter schools
    • Retail
    • Daycare

The JCIP can provide up to 0.5% of new payroll to Cleveland for three years. It can also provide $5,000 in moving assistance.

Municipal Small Business Initiative

The MSBI is a local initiative launched in partnership with the SBA and Cuyahoga County. It allows Cleveland businesses to lower their equity in an SBA-funded project from 25% to just 10%. In exchange, the city of Cleveland provides a grant of 15% of the total project cost. The grant of 15% cannot exceed $50,000, however.

Other Cleveland Business Funding Grants

You can check your eligibility for other Cleveland grants here.

Cleveland Business Funding From SBA Loans

If you need a business loan, US Small Business Administration-backed loans will offer the best rates and terms. They offer large loans with very long repayment terms for qualifying small businesses. 

It’s harder to qualify for an SBA loan, but it’s worth it to find out if you do. SBA loans come in sums of anywhere from $500 to $5.5 million. The largest interest rate you’ll face with an SBA loan is 13%, with some loans starting at just 3.63%.

Cleveland Business Funding From Traditional Lenders

Your local bank will often offer you the best rate for Cleveland business loans. Many local and other banks operate in Cleveland. Most of them can provide business funding, as long as you qualify. Banks typically offer low interest rates and good personal service. But they are usually slower to approve a loan than many other lenders.

Credit Unions

Credit unions are another traditional business financing option to consider. They typically offer very low rates and even rival banks. Credit unions are member-only organizations based on factors like location and industry. Some, such as the Greater Cleveland Community Credit Union, offer membership to Cleveland businesses. If you can get into this union or any other, you can access some of the best business loans.

Cleveland Business Funding From Alternative Lenders

Alternative lenders can be found in all states in the US, including Ohio. With the advent of online alternative lending, many lenders that are based elsewhere are also available in Cleveland.

Alternative lenders can provide Cleveland businesses with loans. They are known to offer business loans to those that are less creditworthy and make less revenue. They are also the fastest business lenders, taking just a few days to approve an application. The main downside is that they typically offer higher interest rates than their competition.

Finding The Right Alternative Lenders

Be sure to read our guide on business loans. If you perform your due diligence and select the right alternative business lender, you can get a fast loan at a fair rate. Alternatively, you can go to a trusted broker that can find you the right local loan.

Capital Source Group

Capital Source Group is a business loan brokerage firm from Ohio City. They also have an HQ in Chicago.

Capital Source Group has access to a network of over 70 lenders, and will help navigate you through the process to get the best deal. Established in 2015, Capital Source Group is a highly rated firm on Google Reviews. Contact a representative in their Ohio City office.

COVID-19 Information & Assistance

Many businesses are struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So, the City of Cleveland is offering emergency loans and information to some businesses. The ReStartCLE Emergency Working Capital Program Loan can provide up to $10,000 for operating costs incurred from March and onward. There are several other incentives and grants which might apply to you. Try searching for local and federal COVID-19 relief.

Not sure where to go for a business loan? Read these quick & helpful guides:
Check out our preferred marketplace lenders.

Lender Minimum Revenue Time in Business Minimum Credit Next Steps
$100K/year 1 year 600+ See if you qualify
$10,000/mo 3 mo. n/a See if you qualify
$10,000/mo 3 mo. n/a See if you qualify
$75,000/yr 24 mo. 620+ Request Intro
Varies Varies 560+ See if you qualify

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