With a population of almost 700,000 people – 68% of them in the labor force – Boston offers a promising landscape for entrepreneurs. The city was ranked one of the best places to start a business in 2018. The proximity of schools like Harvard, Boston College and MIT feed a stream of talented candidates to support growing companies.
Despite the positive outlook, small businesses in Boston can face significant hurdles when it comes to financing. However, small business lenders are putting the right pieces in place to change that. Whether you’re an innovative startup or following a time-tested business model, there are easier ways to access funding—both in the area and from the comfort of your desk.
Over 40,000 private, for-profit small businesses account for 44% of employment in Boston. More than 95% of these businesses are sole proprietorships, or firms with fewer than 50 employees and/or less than $5 million in annual revenue.
In fact, the majority of Boston’s small businesses aren’t small at all – they’re “micro” businesses. These are companies with fewer than 10 employees and $500,000 or less in annual revenue.
The Massachusetts state economy is good and the hiring outlook positive. Nonetheless, small business owners face numerous challenges as they grow:
There are plenty of helpful resources dedicated to helping entrepreneurs grow in Boston, including:
Business owners are often unaware this help from the Boston business center exists right in their own backyard. The 2016 City of Boston Small Business plan cited resource awareness and utilization as one of the major “gaps in the small business ecosystem,” as well as a lack of support for businesses owned by minorities, immigrants and women.
Access to business capital is also a major concern. Banks continue to be the main source for financing, but Boston residents run into the same issues as those elsewhere: they’re rejected.
Either the loan amounts requested are too low, or they don’t qualify due to high credit and revenue standards. Businesses attempting to access capital from alternative sources are often unable to find deals that meet their needs.
A lack of financial understanding also limits Boston’s small business owners from accessing capital. Many business owners in the city can’t successfully prepare the detailed loan application and other documents. It can also be difficult to find a mentor to provide guidance along a clear path to funding.
You need to be prepared to find funding independently if you’re planning to start or expand a business in Boston. Consider these options based on the size of your business, your credit score and your financial history:
Information about Boston small business grants is also available through the Mass Grant Watch website and Grants.gov. If you need help navigating your options, check out the educational events and workshops offered by the Boston Economic Development Center and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.
When you’re ready to establish or expand your Boston business, what kind of loan should you look for? The best small business loans in Boston are those accessible to companies of all sizes and suitable for a variety of needs:
Your ability to qualify for funding will depend on factors like how long you’ve been in business, annual revenue, your company’s financial outlook and your business and personal credit scores.
National Business Capital & Services provides financing options for small businesses in Boston and across the U.S.
From startups looking for initial capital to established businesses planning for growth, National’s business loans can cover a variety of funding needs.
Contact an advisor for more information on term loans, business lines of credit, equipment financing and other funding opportunities, and make your dreams of growing a business in Boston come true.
National Business Capital & Services is the #1 FinTech marketplace offering small business loans and services. Harnessing the power of smart technology and even smarter people, we’ve streamlined the approval process to secure over $1 billion in financing for small business owners to date.
Our expert Business Financing Advisors work within our 75+ Lender Marketplace in real time to give you easy access to the best low-interest SBA loans, short and long-term loans and business lines of credit, as well as a full suite of revenue-driving business services.
We strengthen local communities one small business loan at a time. For every deal we fund, we donate 10 meals to Feeding America!
Matt Carrigan is the Content Writer at National Business Capital & Services. He loves spending every day creating content to educate business owners across every industry about business growth strategies, and how they can access the funding they need!