Many small businesses can’t qualify for a small business loan from a traditional local bank. A bad credit record disqualifies many. Lending standards have tightened. Some small towns are limited by local banks that don’t support small business; others don’t have locally-owned banks any more. The good news is that alternatives are available. We’ll be profiling alternatives to traditional small business loans in this new series on financing. First up: BoeFly.
|BoeFly helps small businesses
get loans from banks all over.
BoeFly doesn’t make loans. It helps small businesses get loans from banks regardless of geographic location. It is compared to Match.com, but for small business loans.
Their Fundability App gives you feedback on of the number of banks that may be interested in loaning to your business, based on the info you provide. It does not require any personally-identifiable information. For example, it does ask for your credit score, but not your name. This is a great first step for anyone considering a small business loan. You may learn that you need to make some changes before you’ll be fundable.
When you’re ready to go after a loan, rather than you going from bank to bank looking for a loan and preparing piles of paperwork over and over, you can use BoeFly to create one package and be connected with several potential lenders. You prepare one single loan request that can be forwarded to matching lenders. (You control who sees the info.) Over 1,500 banks participate, so it is a sizable marketplace. They’ve recently partnered with Small Business Development Centers to power the ASBDC Loan Center, which is a pretty big mark of trust, in my opinion.
Small Businesses pay a flat fee (but never a commission), currently from $99 to $499 depending on service level. Lenders also pay to participate, so I think it’s a pretty fair balance between the needs of borrowers and the needs of lenders.
One small town business that used this service is Direct Wholesale Supply in Beloit, Kansas (population 4,000). Kurt Karwell is the owner, and his info was shared with me by BoeFly’s PR group. DWS provides exterior home improvement products for contractors across Kansas and Southern Nebraska. using BoeFly, Karwell was connected with a bank 80 miles away in Plainville, Kansas (population 1,900). He secured an SBA loan of $105,000.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.