Business Banking 101: Are Local Business Loans Best?

| February 17, 2023 | By

New business owners and small business owners have their work cut out for them. To set up your business, you’ve got to conduct market research, get all your licenses and permits sorted, figure out the logistics of providing your services, and more.

All of that takes time—and resources. (A lot of resources.) Whether you’ve got overhead or upfront costs staring you in the face, you might be wondering if sustaining your new or small business is really in the cards for you.

Fortunately, you’re not the first person to be in this situation. Because small business owners commonly find themselves needing considerable startup resources, the government created the Small Business Administration (SBA) and a loan program geared toward ambitious entrepreneurs like yourself. These business loans can be game-changing. You just have to know how to apply for them in the most successful way possible. 

Good news: Working with a local bank to get the funds you need to succeed can help you have a more streamlined and positive experience.

Are You a Good Candidate for a Local Bank Business Loan?

Before you start getting into the nitty-gritty of local bank business loan applications, it’s a good idea to figure out if now’s the best time for you to apply. This is less about competition and auditing, and more about assessing your readiness. 

When you get your business loan funding, you want to make sure you’re in the best possible place to use those funds well. Some signs that you might be ready to apply for a business loan include: 

  • You’re starting or expanding a business.

  • You want to build credit for your business.

  • You need more inventory or equipment for your business.

  • You’ve found a business opportunity that (after research) you know is a good idea, but you need some funds to take advantage of that opportunity.

  • You need to hire new talent. 

These are all great reasons to take on a business loan, but there are some pitfalls that may (seemingly) outweigh the perks. For example:

  • Business loans can come with rigid repayment structures.

  • Loan application processes can be exhausting (and seemingly never-ending.)

  • Business loan officers can be incredibly impersonal.

For something that’s so important to you, your success, and your happiness, it’s critical that you don’t find yourself in a stressful situation. That’s why it’s best to choose local. Often, working with a local community bank helps you skip these potential business loan pitfalls so you can get straight to the perks. 

Seeking a Local Bank Business Loan Without the Stress?

If you’re looking for a simple, streamlined business loan application experience, it’s time to consider working with your local community bank. Local banks can provide personal support, unique-to-you advice, streamlined application processes, flexible deadlines, and more. 

Let’s take a quick look at what securing your business loan might look like if you’re working with a local bank instead of a gigantic corporation: 

Preparing to Apply

The amount of support a larger bank might give you prior to submitting your application could be minimal. They might provide the forms or answer some specific questions, but that could be it. 

Compare that to the welcoming, supportive experience you’ll have at your community bank! Your community bank will set aside time to:

  • Walk you through the application

  • Help you gather the required paperwork

  • Assess your readiness to file for the loan

  • Give you strategic tips for applying

  • ... And more! 

Applying for Your Business Loan

If you’re working with a local bank, once you’ve submitted your application, you can stay in touch with your loan officer to get a behind-the-scenes sense of how your application is going. How long will it take? Is it likely to be successful? At a larger corporation, you’d probably have to simply wait—but at a local bank, your contact will pick up the phone and talk you through what’s happening. 

Life After Your Business Loan

If you’re working with a large bank, you might get the approval for your funds—and then very little afterward. In fact, your loan officer might not contact you again until they need something from you (like more paperwork, or even a payment due on your loan).

At a community business bank, you’ll have a contact who can give you advice and stay in touch as you use those funds to build your business. Your local community bank can also assist you with some of the other financial products and services your small business requires, so you can get everything done in one place.

Exploring Local Bank Business Loans? BNC Has Your Back

If you’re looking for this type of personalized experience, reach out to local banks. Start a conversation. Ask direct questions, and see if you’d like working with the people you’re speaking to. 

Even though the process of applying for a business loan can seem overwhelming, with a local bank helping you through the process, it can be more accessible than you think. Reach out to BNC National Bank today to learn more about how we can help you secure funds to grow your small business! 

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