You're looking for funding for your business. There are so many different avenues for getting a loan, where do you start? Knowing the difference between a for-profit and a nonprofit lender will help you as you shop around.

You’re looking for funding for your business. There are so many different avenues for getting a loan, where do you start? Knowing the difference between a for-profit and a nonprofit lender will help you as you shop around.

What is the difference between For-Profit and Nonprofit?

The most technical difference is the way an organization is categorized and taxed. A nonprofit is typically a 501(c)3 organization, which means they have certain tax exemptions because they are serving the public without making profit beyond operating costs. Many nonprofits are volunteer-run.

There are other key differences such as leadership structure and the way they are funded, but the most relevant differences to you as a borrower are their purpose and their qualifications for getting a loan.

Their purpose

For-profit lenders’ purpose is very clear: to make a profit. This includes traditional banks as well as predatory “alternative” lenders. This purpose drives the goals and motivations of the employees and affects who is able to get a loan from them. Because a for-profit lender needs to make money, they are less likely to lend to small businesses they deem to be more of a risk.

Nonprofit lenders include credit unions and microlenders like Opportunity Fund. A common misconception is that nonprofits are charities, because they are driven by more than making money. Nonprofit lenders are community-oriented and support initiatives that focus on improving the lives of small business owners. This means that Opportunity Fund, a nonprofit lender, is more likely to lend to “risky” businesses that others often won’t touch, such as new businesses, recent immigrants, restaurants, food trucks, micro businesses, and those with poor or no credit.

Qualifications for getting a loan

Things we hear a lot from our clients is that banks won’t help them because they have financial history that doesn’t look great on paper. This could be for a variety of reasons, but the message is clear: for-profit lenders care the most about numbers. In addition to requirements that most lenders ask for, they can be more strict about FICO scores and credit reports.

Opportunity Fund takes the time to listen to you and understand you as an individual with unique business needs. Some Opportunity Fund loans don’t have minimum FICO score requirements, and having little or no credit history may be accepted.

The trade-off with a nonprofit lender who takes on “risky” businesses is you may pay a higher interest rate to cover the greater potential loss. That being said, always look for a trustworthy lender who is truly affordable and transparent about what their loans actually cost.

Find a responsible lender

While not every for-profit lender is trying to suck your bank account dry, there are many “alternative lenders” out there that use dangerous and predatory practices that you should avoid – such as Merchant Cash Advances (MCAs) and Confessions of Judgement (CoJ).

Opportunity Fund is a co-founder and signatory of the Small Business Borrower’s Bill of Rights, which aims to educate small business owners about responsible business lending. Your rights, not protected by law but important for you to understand and fight for, include:

  1. The Right to Transparent Pricing and Terms
  2. The Right to Non-Abusive Products
  3. The Right to Responsible Underwriting
  4. The Right to Fair Treatment from Brokers
  5. The Right to Inclusive Credit Access
  6. The Right to Fair Collection Practices

 

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.

Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $700 million and helped thousands of families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at http://opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

You’re looking for the right location for your business. Or you’re getting ready to move in. Or you’ve been there for a while and the costs are starting to add up. Here’s a list of things related to your business location that can drain your cash flow, and how to get back on track.

You’re looking for the right location for your business. Or you’re getting ready to move in. Or you’ve been there for a while and the costs are starting to add up. Here’s a list of things related to your business location that can drain your cash flow, and how to get back on track.

 

Here are 6 things to consider when selecting your business location

Your business’ physical  location can affect your rent, utilities, and insurance. Your business’ proximity to a creek or fault line can mean paying extra for disaster insurance. If your store’s floor-to-ceiling front windows face direct sunlight during the summer, you will need to pay more for air conditioning. Commercial property values can change dramatically depending on what neighborhood you set up shop.

Is street traffic or easy parking a necessity to gain customers? If you run a staffing agency or an HVAC installation service, paying expensive rent for a busy, pedestrian-oriented street might not be the best use of your money. Likewise, if you’re a small fashion boutique, it might be worth the cost to find somewhere better for your foot traffic than a suburban shopping center where people just want to go to the grocery store or gas station.

If you are located in a business park or shopping center, keep Common Area Maintenance (CAM) costs in mind. You could also be pressured into signing unsavory Tenant Improvement (TI) packages that pass on expensive maintenance, renovation, and damage costs onto you. Always check with your landlord or real estate agent before you sign for your new location.

Your business address can affect the minimum wage you have to pay employees and other localized employment rules. Taxes, minimum wages, and more can vary depending on in which city or county your business address is located.

Local zoning ordinances and historical designations can add costs to your start-up or renovation costs. Some neighborhoods have expensive permits and strict restrictions on what type of businesses can operate and where. You might also have restrictions on what your business can look like (or have to pay for regular restoration efforts) for historically designated neighborhoods and buildings.

Your could qualify for federal incentives if you are located in a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone). The government prioritizes awarding contracts to businesses that operate in a HUBZone. If your industry fits and you have some flexibility in choosing where to locate your primary office, you could have preferential access to government contracts.

 

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $700 million and helped thousands of families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at http://opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Each month, we’re promoting affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your monthly calendar for in-person events in California and virtual events you can join from anywhere. Here are the best upcoming events in April.

Each month, we’re promoting affordable events that help small business owners run their businesses better. This is your monthly calendar for in-person events in California and virtual events you can join from anywhere. Here are the best upcoming events in April.

 

Northern California/Sacramento

Financial Statement Basics
Date: April 12, 2019 | 9:30 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: 234 E. Gish Road, Suite 100 San Jose, CA 95112  
Contact: info@svscore.org | 408-453-6237
Organization: Silicon Valley SCORE
Fee: $45

The financial health of your business can be better diagnosed, if you have a good understanding of basic financial terms and the purpose of key financial statements. Learn basic financial concepts and gain insight into the interpretation of your Balance Sheet, Cash Flow Statement and Profit and Loss Statement. Knowing these concepts will improve your business planning and the conversations you have with your financial professionals.

Key Topics:

  • Balance Sheet
  • Profit and Loss Statement
  • Cash Flow Statement
  • Break even point
  • Financial Statement analysis and comparisons.

Learning Outcomes:

  • important  financial terms: assets, liabilities, payables, receivables, gross income, net income.
  • how to read Balance Sheets, Cash Flow Statements, Profit and Loss Statements
  • how to analyze Balance Sheets, Cash Flow Statements, Profit and Loss Statements

Click here to register for this event.

 

8 Steps to Master Your Cash Flow – A Workshop for Women Business Owners
Date: April 18, 2019 | 6:30 pm PDT – 9:00 pm PDT
Location: 2060 West College Ave., 2nd Floor Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Contact: Sandy Tradewell | sandy.tradewell@score450.org | 707-548-5814
Organization: SCORE North Coast
Fee: $35

Women-owned business is the fastest growing segment of the economy in Sonoma County. This workshop for women provides cash flow strategies and support for addressing women’s unique relationship to money and how they do business. Break through limiting beliefs around money that are holding you back from making money.

Click here to register for this event.

 

Facebook Ads 101
Date: April 23, 2019 | 2:00 pm PDT – 3:00 pm PDT
Location: 33 New Montgomery Street Suite 750, CA 94105
Contact: Erin Morris | emorris@rencenter.org | (415) 348-6227
Organization: Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center
Fee: Free

Renaissance has partnered with Shopify to bring you up-to-date information about online marketing. This workshop will focus specifically on Facebook Ads, and how you can utilize them to market your small business and make more sales.

Click here to register for this event.

 

Southern California/San Diego

Hire and Manage Great Employees
Date: April 12, 2019 | 9:00 am PDT – 12:00 pm PDT
Location: 8825 Aero Drive, Suite 102
Contact: workshop0140@scorevolunteer.org | (858) 283-1100
Organization: SCORE San Diego
Fee: Free

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to

  • Identify your hiring needs
  • Write a job description
  • Understand the process for selecting and hiring employees
  • Acquire the skill set for interviewing candidates
  • Conduct performance review
  • Know how to be a mentor and coach

    Click here to register for this event.

Writing a Winning Business Plan
Date: April 22, 2019 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 365 N Main St. Corona, CA 92880
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
Fee: $20

Find out what goes into crafting a great business plan. Spend time with an experienced trainer to learn the steps to follow to make the writing process less tedious and discover where to gather the information you need to write a winning plan.

Click here to register for this event.

 

Are You Covered? Insurance Basics for Small Businesses
Date: April 25, 2019 | 6:00 pm PDT – 8:00 pm PDT
Location: 12625 Frederick Street, Suite K3 Moreno Valley, CA 92553
Contact: (909) 890-1242
Organization: Inland Empire Women’s Business Center
 Fee: Free

Is your business insurance providing all the coverage you need? Join us for a discussion about the many aspects of business insurance and get the tools to help you understand and evaluate the types of coverage available. Learn how to manage your risk and make sure your policy covers what you need.

Click here to register for this event.

 

Virtual

Employee vs. Independent Contractor: What California Companies Need to Know

Date: April 24, 2019 | 12:00 pm PDT – 1:00 pm PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: info@e-jedi.org | (530) 926-6670
Organization: Jefferson Economic Development Institute
Fee: Free

Workers come in many varieties. This workshop will provide key insights into the differences between employees, interns, volunteers independent contractors. We will specifically discuss the new CA ABC independent contractor test and how you can grow your company while complying with the myriad of state and federal regulations.

Join us!

  • Gain a thorough understanding of the difference between employees and contractors.
  • Practice applying the new ABC Independent Contractor test.
  • Find out about resources for hiring employees and contractors.
  • Receive a comprehensive handout showing the laws.

Click here to register for this event.

 

Women/Veteran-Owned Small Business Certifications

Date: April 10, 2019 | 1:00 pm MDT – 2:30 pm MDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Peggy Baker | pbaker@uwyo.edu
Organization: Wyoming SBDC Network
Fee: Free

This webinar will cover the basics of both of these two socioeconomic certification programs and their advantages. Emphasis will be placed on the qualifications and application process for each program. We’ll also cover:

  • The types of documentation needed
  • How and when to prepare detailed letters of explanation
  • The difference between the types of Veteran-Owned Small Business certifications and how the VA set-asides differ from the rest of the federal government
  • Formal certification vs self-certification for Women-Owned Small Businesses
  • How to maintain these certifications
  • How to use the certifications as a marketing tool
  • And more!

Click here to register for this event.

 

Cybersecurity for Small Businesses

Date: April 10, 2019 | 8:00 am PDT – 9:00 am PDT
Location: Online—Webinar
Contact: Derek E. Diaz | ddiaz@ftc.gov | (216) 263-3421
Organization: Federal Trade Commission
Fee: Free

The FTC deals with issues that touch the economic life of every Business Owner and every American.

In this webinar you will learn about New Resources directly from a lawyer of the FTC.

The Mission of FTC: Protecting consumers and competition by preventing anticompetitive, deceptive, and unfair business    practices through law enforcement, advocacy, and education without unduly burdening legitimate business activity.

The Vision of FTC: A vibrant economy characterized by vigorous competition and consumer access to accurate information.

One of the Strategic Goals of the FTC: Protect consumers from unfair and deceptive practices in the marketplace.

Click here to register for this event.

 

We’re looking for upcoming events to promote to small business owners like you. If you have an event you’d like to share with fellow business owners, contact us at sblending@opportunityfund.org.

For information about Opportunity Fund’s small business loans, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or loans@opportunityfund.org.  For questions about your existing loan or other customer service questions, please contact us at 866-299-8173 or sbhelp@opportunityfund.org.

Loans are subject to credit review. Additional documentation may be required for credit approval. We are an Equal Opportunity Lender. Loans will be made or arranged pursuant to California Department of Corporations Finance Lenders License #6050609.


Opportunity Fund is tackling economic inequality so that hard work and perseverance means a shot at getting ahead, not just struggling to get by. Our programs are supported by a community of donors and investors whose contributions help to fund small businesses, support college students, and build stronger families and vibrant neighborhoods. Since 1994, the team has deployed $700 million and helped thousands of families earn, save and invest in their own futures. Opportunity Fund has earned a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, for our commitment to accountability and transparency.

Visit us online at opportunityfundloan.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Opportunity Fund. Working Capital for Working People. opportunityfund.org