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Updated: Jun 4, 2019
Securing financing can be a daunting process, but if your business is based in New York, you have decent options for acquiring extra capital. There are more small business loans in New York than ever before — not just government-backed programs, but private and non-profit lending networks, too.
According to a 2018 report from Empire State Development, the state of New York has spent over $210 million on programs to give funding to small businesses since 2011. In 2017, New York lenders issued just under half a million loans under $100,000, according to a 2019 profile from the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Advocacy.
Small business funding isn’t just crucial for business owners — it’s a key component of overall job creation and retention in New York. After all, there are 2.2 million small businesses in the state, and collectively they employ over half of the private workforce.
If you’re trying to figure out how to get a small business loan in New York, we’ve got you covered. Here are eight of the best NY small business loans to help propel your business forward.
1. Valley Economic Development Center
The Valley Economic Development Center, or VEDC, is a non-profit community development financial institution (CDFI) that gives loans to businesses based in New York and California. You can use the funds for any number of purposes, including expansion, debt refinancing, working capital, or equipment purchases. The standard business loans are $50,000 to $500,000, but the VEDC also has microloans from $2,500 to $50,000 for shop owners who need to buy inventory or refinance debt. The interest can be fixed or variable, and starts at 7.75%.
2. NYC Capital Access Loan Guarantee Program
If you’re looking for small business loans in NYC, the NYC Capital Access Loan Guarantee Program might be what you need. The program was designed to help NYC-based micro and small businesses get easier access to funding. Micro businesses are operations with fewer than 20 employees, while small businesses can have anywhere between 20 to 100 employees. The program backs up to 40% of loans from participating lenders to cover your business’ working capital needs, equipment purchases, or leasehold improvements.
3. WE NYC
If you’re a woman-owned operation, you be able to get funding through programs like WE NYC. Run through the NYC Department of Small Business Services, WE NYC is a public-private partnership program designed to help women business owners in New York grow their operations. The program provides loans of $25,000 up to $125,000 for certified women-owned businesses in need of capital.
4. New York Business Development Corporation
The New York Business Development Corporation gives loans to start-ups, early stage businesses, and established operations in New York. Their Bridge to Success loan program, which is designed to help minority and women-owned businesses secure more government contracts, provides working capital loans with lines of credit up to $200,000, with terms of 12 to 18 months.
5. Excelsior Growth Fund
Excelsior Growth Fund is a CDFI that helps small businesses in New York (as well as New Jersey and Pennsylvania) get easier access to capital. Their SBA microloan program offers small business loans from $10,000 to $50,000 with interest rates at 8.91%. To apply, you need to have strong cash flow and at least two employees.
6. The Business Center for New Americans
The Business Center for New Americans gives microloans and small business loans to NYC-based manufacturing, retail, restaurant, and service businesses. The BCNA serves businesses based on location. They give loans of up to $50,000 to all businesses in Queens and Staten Island that meet the loan requirements, and to immigrant, refugee, and woman-owned businesses in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx that meet the requirements.
7. Job Development Authority Direct Loan Program
The Job Development Authority (JDA) Direct Loan Program helps businesses in New York buy and renovate buildings, construct new buildings, and purchase machinery and equipment. A JDA loan will finance up to 40% of the cost of your construction project or machinery purchase, and up to 60% of the cost if your business is located in an economically distressed area.
8. Metropolitan Economic Revitalization Fund
If your business directly or indirectly helps economically distressed communities, you may qualify for funding from the Metropolitan Economic Revitalization Fund (MERF). MERF gives loans to businesses that help create and retain private-sector jobs in lower-income areas of New York. You’ll get up to $5 million or 10% of the total cost for any project related to building construction, renovation, or purchasing machinery and equipment.
New York local and state government organizations periodically sponsor small business grants, but they can be hard to find. To search for NYC small business grants or other grant opportunities in the state, visit the New York state library resource center, the Economic Development Administration website, or USA.gov. If your business is based in New York’s southern tier, you may qualify for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) grant.
If you want to get a business loan online, there are plenty of New York-based alternative lenders and nationwide online lending platforms to choose from. Online lenders typically offer small business owners faster, easier access to financing. Plus, you usually have more options for funding: everything from term loans and business lines of credit to merchant cash advances and invoice factoring.
At Funding Circle, our term loans let you borrow with competitive interest rates. Other New York business owners have used Funding Circle loans to expand and plan for long-term growth. Plus, applying is easy and you can get a decision in as few as 24 hours. Learn more or see how we compare to other lenders.
Paige Smith is a Content Marketing Writer and Senior Contributing Writer at Funding Circle. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and specializes in writing about the intersection of business, finance, and tech. Paige has written for a number of B2B industry leaders, including fintech companies, small business lenders, and business credit resource sites.