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Resources abound for business funding in Tucson
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Resources abound for business funding in Tucson

  • Updated

According to the U.S. Census Bureau there are more than 60,000 “nonemployer establishments” — companies with no employees — in Pima County.

This is a great place to start a small business, but if your start-up requires significant financial investment upfront, finding funding can be a challenge as banks won’t take the risk without a proven track record or established business credit.

But help is available through the Small Business Administration and various partners, and a SCORE workshop in Tucson later this month offers some hands-on help.

According to the SBA, before you risk your life savings or take a second mortgage, consider the following ways to finance your business that you may have overlooked.

  • Friends and family are a common source of funding for many start-ups. They know you, and often they have quicker access to cash. Select someone with business skills who understands the risks and benefits of what they are getting into and show that you’ve done your research. Decide whether you want a loan with repayment terms or are willing to offer a share in your business.
  • Peer-to-peer-lending involves pitching your business idea to other people hoping they will invest. Websites like Prosper.com or LendingClub.com connect people who want to lend money with those who need to borrow money.
  • Crowdsourcing.org
  • Consider a microlender like Accion (accionnm.org); the PPEP Microbusiness and Housing Development Corp. (pmhdc.net); the Microbusiness Advancement Center; the Nonprofit Loan Fund of Tucson and Southern Arizona (nonprofit-loans.org); Prestamos Community Development Financial Institution (prestamosloanfund.org); the Arizona Technology Access Program (seedloans.net) or CDC Small Business Finance, (cdcloans.com/small-business). A good place to start is SBA.gov.

You can learn more at a free morning workshop on Oct. 30 at Brookline College, 5441 E. 22nd St.

For more information, call 505-3636.

Together with SCORE, an SBA lender-relations specialist will explain the requirements for loans for uses such as working capital, machinery and equipment, renovation and construction and debt refinancing.

The event also will cover micro-loan programs, export working capital, veteran’s, women’s and minority business loans, savings and credit cards and business grants.

Diane Diamond is vice president of media relations for SCORE Southern Arizona, a nonprofit group that offers free small-business counseling and mentoring by appointment at several locations. For more information, go to www.southernarizona.score.org, send email to mentoring@scoresouthernaz.org or call 505-3636.


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