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Oakland businesses have many financial resources available to them, from alternative lenders and community banks, to equity investors, community investment funds and traditional banks.  Oakland also offers a variety of classes and consulting resources to help business owners decide how much and what kind of money they need.

How Much and What Type of Financing Do You Need?

Before seeking money for your business, you should have a good understanding of exactly what you will use the money for and what types of financial help you need.  Some needs are better suited to loans, while others may make more sense to fund with equity investments. Understanding the differences will help you choose, and can significantly impact the health and growth of your business.

Finding Capital - on the SBA Website
This page includes huge amount of information on estimating business costs, break even analysis, getting loans and equity financing, managing finances, credit scores and more.   

Self-paced classes on the SBA Website
SBA offers online self-paced classes on several topics related to finance and accounting. These classes generally take about 30 minutes. On this site you'll find a link to several more online classes from the Southwest Texas SBDC, including one on Assessing Financial Needs.

Documents You Should Have Ready Before Applying

Getting Loans    

There are several organizations and institutions that offer loans to Oakland's small businesses.  Before applying for a loan, you should confirm that a loan is the best financing option for you, and make sure that you are ready.

Alternative & Community Lenders – Smaller Loans, Flexible Credit Requirements, Dedicated to Community

Most banks provide loans to small businesses.  However, some businesses cannot get approved for a loan with traditional banks because of their credit history, the small size of the loan they need, or other reasons.  Alternative lenders can provide small business loans as small as $500 and as large as a few million dollars, and they are more flexible when assessing whether a business is eligible.

Alternative lenders are focused on strengthening the local economy and creating jobs in the community; this mission means that they will spend more time looking at aspects of a business beyond credit scores that can help show that a business is a good candidate for a loan.

This mission also means that working with them not only helps you, it helps our community. Alternative lenders may be non-profit organizations, community banks, or credit unions.  These lenders are often certified as CDFIs (community development financial institutions).

Alternative lenders for Oakland Businesses

Find alternative lenders in our online database
Download a PDF of Microlenders that provide loans under $50k

Loans from Traditional Banks
If you are looking for larger loans and have good credit, you may be eligible for a loan from a traditional bank. When seeking financial help from any lender, make sure to shop around, compare offers and find a lender that offers terms that are good for you, and have staff that you trust and feel comfortable with. Search for a current list of Oakland banks from the FDIC website.


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