If you’re a small business in Alabama, you are already aware of how welcoming the region is to smaller companies, from startups to seasoned veterans. From Birmingham to Tuscaloosa to Montgomery and beyond—small business owners in Alabama reap the benefits of a genuinely business-friendly climate.
In recent weeks, Governor Kay Ivey signed a bill that provides relief from the business privilege tax for all Alabama small businesses. Experts estimate that just over 230,000 small businesses will benefit from Governor Ivey signing this tax relief bill.
In a statement, Governor Ivy proclaimed that “Alabama small businesses are the soul of our economy.” This is, in part, what spurred this particular bill. A tax exemption essentially cuts the $100 minimum business privilege tax in half. And beginning in 2024, small businesses will be completely exempt from this minimum tax. The bill is estimated to save smaller Alabama companies just over $23 million a year.
Other Help Available: Small Business Loans in Alabama
While this particular bill is undoubtedly helpful, more help is still needed. Small business owners have just emerged from a challenging climate, given the pandemic wrought. They face rising inflation, labor shortages, and massive supply chain issues. Small businesses are still struggling without knowing when things will ever get back to “normal.” So what can they do to survive? What can they do to keep their doors open and move forward during this challenging economic time?
There are several small business loans in Alabama available for those companies that need them. Smaller businesses can, of course, try and approach conventional banks for loans. The problem is that more traditional banks aren’t exactly keen on lending to small companies. Small businesses are too much of a risk. Versus working with more giant corporations, loaning to small businesses is not on the radar of many conventional banks.
Increasingly, small businesses in Alabama are turning to alternative and online lenders. Why? For one, the process is a lot easier and a lot faster. When going with an online lender, most small business owners receive funding within two days of application. And perhaps the biggest draw is that alternative and online lenders take a big picture approach. That is to say. They are not fixated on just a credit score or how much collateral you may or may not have to put down. They are interested in your story. They want to know what value you bring to the state of Alabama.
Preparing Your Loan Application
When it comes to being approved for small business loans in Alabama, many companies wonder about what might be the best approach. First off, thorough organization and preparation will go a long way. And here are some things you can start doing now to help ensure better approval odds:
- Make sure your credit reports are accurate and up-to-date.
- Start paying down some of your debts. Start with the higher interest rate liabilities.
- Gather all relevant materials so that they are ready to go. This could include tax returns (both business and personal), financial statements such as balance sheets and cash flow statements, articles of incorporation, and any business licenses or leases, among other documentation.
- Create a business plan if you don’t already have one. Especially if there are weaker aspects of your loan application, having a business plan to present to the lender can certainly help.
- And make sure you pick the right lender. Not all lenders are created equal, and not all lenders will have your best interests at heart. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You want to work with a company that shares your vision.
- Have a plan for the loan funds. If the lender approves you, the money you receive can help you sustain your small Alabama business during this challenging financial time. You want to have a firm plan in place before receiving the money. In other words, find a way to make that money work for you.
First Union Lending Works with Alabama Businesses
We help numerous companies throughout Alabama, from Birmingham to Mobile. We work with salon owners, restaurants, car dealerships, and medical practices; you name it. Our clients use loan proceeds for various reasons. From hiring more personnel to buying out a competitor to purchasing real estate to buying equipment, the funds we provide go a long way toward enabling a business to thrive and grow. We offer short-term loans, lines of credit, and SBA loans, among other financing types. And even if your credit score is not exactly where it should be, we would still love to talk to you. Call today, and let’s get started.