small business

Government Small Business Funding for People with Disabilities

Small business money for persons with disability comes in the form of low interest loans, grants, business supplies, education and training. Eligibility to obtain funds or to receive preferential treatment is generally based on disability status of the small business owner. The federal government provides small business funding to people with disability through agencies and no for profits.

Small Business Low Interest Loans for People with Disabilities

The Small Business Administration uses various low rate loans to fund small businesses; including those owned by persons with disabilities. Eligible entrepreneurs can claim disability status to obtain preferential treatment from the SBA. In addition to low rate business loans, SBA provides education and training to entrepreneurs. The following are some examples for funding opportunities from the government through the SBA:

  • SBA 7(a) Loan Programs – This loan facility is available through authorized lenders. Loans under this program can be used for starting a small business, for expansion of an existing business or to purchase a business.
  • CAP Lines – These are lines of credit designed to meet short term small business needs. There are five different lines of credit under this SBA program; all can be designed to meet specific needs. The maximum loan maturity is five years, typically lines have shorter maturities.
  • SBA Patriot Express Loan Initiative – This assistance is for veterans of the armed forces and their qualifying spouses. The money can be used for staring or expanding a business owned by the veteran.
  • America Recovery Capital Loan Programs or ARC – This program has been designed to provide temporary funds to small businesses that are going through financial difficulties. The maximum amount of funding is $35,000 and only one loan is allowed per business.

SBA loans applications are available online at SBA.gov

Social Security Administration’s PASS Program for Persons with Disabilities

PASS or Plan to Achieve Self – Support is a program funded by the Social Security Administration. The program’s purpose is to help persons with disability gain self support through paid or self- employment. PASS money can be used to purchase supplies for starting a business, transportation, training and business equipments such as computers, cars and telephones.

For disabled individuals looking for self employment, PASS requires a business plan document. Help is available to prepare business goals and plans from SSA and non profits organizations involved with SSA. Applications for PASS are available online at SSA.gov/PASS.

Training Assistance for Small Business Owners with Disabilities

The government funds local non profit organizations that provide disabled individuals with training and development to start a small business. This includes technical, operations and marketing training as well as free business plans. These are examples of non profits providing training to small business owners:

  • The Job Accommodation Network, JAN, at askjan.org – This organization provides business resources and business plans software for business owners with disabilities.
  • Start Ups USA at startup.biz – provides self employment assistance, business plan writing and education on starting and operating a small business.
  • T-tap Training and Technical Assistance at t-tap.org – this organization is funded by the US Department of Labor to help persons with disabilities with online and offline local business training.

What Is Small Business Debt Consolidation? Options For Small Business Debt Management

Debt consolidation for small businesses involves a plan that allows for a positive outcome for both the business and its creditors.

Similar to debt consolidation programs that work with individuals, small business debt consolidation focuses on a plan that allows the business to satisfy its creditors without creating further problems. One way to begin debt consolidation for a small business is to use a company that specializes in debt management. This company negotiates with the creditors of the business to secure a more affordable payment option.

Another way to move toward small business debt consolidation is to work with a lender to secure a loan that pays off all of the financial obligations of the business. In exchange, the lender will provide the business with a repayment plan that allows the business to make one payment per month until the debt is paid in full. In many cases, the lender will send payments to each creditor on behalf of the business.

Advantages Of A Small Business Debt Consolidation Loan Plan

There are several advantages that are associated with a lending plan for small business debt consolidation. Because all of the current vendors to the business are paid in full, the business is no longer accruing interest on any outstanding balances.

If the business can secure a lower interest rate over all, the small business will save money over the long-term. In addition, having balances that are paid-in-full reflects positively on the business.

Disadvantages Of A Small Business Debt Consolidation Loan Plan

There are situations in which a small business debt consolidation plan may not advisable. If the interest rate paid to the vendors carries a low interest rate, the small business may end up paying more, depending on the rate of the loan.

In addition to losing money to interest rates, any new balances accrued with the vendor pose a risk of creating additional financial hardship for the company.

Other Small Business Debt Consolidation Options

In addition to working with a lender to consolidate small business debt into one payment, there are other options that may be attractive to business owners, such as business debt management.

In a business debt management relationship, a third party works as a mediator between the small business and its creditors. The mediator seeks to find repayment solutions that may stop interest from accruing, or find a repayment plan that the business can manage more easily. This approach is helpful in buying time for the small business to reorganize or generate additional income. A third party mediator can often help the small business restructure its budget into a more realistic financial plan.

Points To Consider For Small Business Debt Consolidation

Whenever a small business is looking to reduce or consolidate its debts with a third party, it’s important to consider other financial implications that may not be visible outright. Hiring a third party to negotiate or mediate new financial terms comes with an expense all of its own. Some examples of those debt management fees include processing fees or account management fees. When considering a small business debt management solution, it’s important that the total fees be weighed against the total benefit of the debt reduction.

There is never one right solution to a specific financial situation. While some plans may provide immediate financial relief, it is crucial that each small business look to the future and how that plan may impact the business in the long-term.