Without funding, a new owner’s dream of a successful retail business is impossible. Thankfully, even if you don’t have the savings to start a new business, there are viable alternatives. One of those excellent options is a small business loan.
A small business loan can set your business up for future financial success while easing some psychological burden. If you’re worried about the application process or whether your business can qualify, we have good news. It may be easier and faster than you think to qualify for a loan from a trustworthy online lending platform.
To save you time and get you that much closer to opening day, we’ve compiled a shortlist of the top five retail business loans available in 2021. We’ve also highlighted the features, perks, and qualification requirements for each. After reviewing this list, you should feel confident getting the funding you needed knowing you made an informed decision.
The Best Retail Business Loans in 2021
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), most enterprises start with less than $50,000 in capital, making other funding alternatives a high priority. A retail business loan can give you the funding you need to pay for inventory, overhead, or payroll while you’re getting started.
If you are overwhelmed by the vast array of available loan options, we’ve got you covered with this helpful list of five of the best retail business loans available right now in 2021.
Kiva - Best for Microloans
If you’re looking for an ethical loan company, Kiva is all about providing financial resources to those that may not otherwise have access to them. Kiva is an international nonprofit founded in 2005 and focused on crowdfunding loans and unlocking capital for underserved organizations.
Its mission is to improve the quality and cost of financial services and address the underlying barriers to financial access worldwide. 100 percent of every dollar lent by crowd funders goes towards Kiva microloans.
You must be a U.S. citizen over the age of 18 and using the loan for business purposes. First and foremost, your business must not be engaged in or utilize any business models that involve risk, scams, or illegal activities. You also cannot currently be in foreclosure, bankruptcy, or under any liens.
Kiva may ask you to demonstrate your social capital and trustworthiness by having a small number of your friends and family make a temporary loan to you. For more information, refer to Kiva’s help center and loanee’s guide.
Fundera - Best for SBA 504 & Microloans
There are many benefits from getting a retail business loan with Fundera. Their application process is simple, fast, and includes free option shopping and financial advice. You’ll have access to SBA 7(a) loans, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, term loans, invoice factoring, and more.
They claim that their application-to-funding process is faster than at the bank, and their customer reviews seem to agree (with 4.7/5 stars on Trustpilot). Fundera is excellent for accessible and quick retail business funding options.
One caveat to acquiring a business loan with Fundera is that you need to be at least a semi-established new business to qualify for a loan. For new retail organizations that aren’t established yet, they do offer business credit card options.
OnDeck - Best for Repeat Borrowing and Same-Day Funding
OnDeck’s mission is to supply flexible, accessible, no-hassle funding for small startups. They specialize in same-day funding ideal for repeat borrowers, and they also offer loan advisory services to each customer. There’s a reason they have a near-perfect (4.9 out of 5 stars) customer rating on Trustpilot. They have two primary retail business loan options to choose from:
- OnDeck Line of Credit ($5K-$100K) with a 12-month repayment period
- OnDeck Term Loan ($5K-$250K) with an 18-month repayment
OnDeck uses more than a credit score to assess your business’ qualifications for a loan. They use “data analytics and digital technology to aggregate and analyze thousands of data points to assess the creditworthiness of small businesses rapidly and accurately.”
Fundbox - Best for Revolving Line of Credit or Low Credit Scores
With a quick application, intuitive design, and a fantastic support team, it’s not surprising that over 70 percent of their Funbox customers use their loan services three times or more. They offer two attractive funding options:
- Revolving lines of credit that are fast and flexible and up to $150,000 with an application process that can be completed in mere minutes.
- Term loan: One-time lump sum for significant business investments. No origination fee or prepayment penalty.
You will have to provide background information about your business that will be included in your credit assessment. Fundbox may ask for supporting data from your accounting software, business checking account, credit report, or other sources.
If they require your business’ credit report as a data source, they perform a soft inquiry for the initial assessment, which will not affect your credit score. Hard inquiries only happen when you draw on your credit line for the first time.
Your information will be reviewed, and you’ll get a decision quickly. Fundbox lets its applicants know if they need a little extra time to process your application, and they send an email when your decision is ready, so be sure to check that inbox.
Lendio - Best Overall / Best PPP Loan Marketplace
Lendio has been connecting small business owners to a plethora of financing options through their marketplace for more than a decade. They are known for offering quick, no-obligation applications for credit lines, equipment financing, short-term loans, and more. Like Fundera, they provide a marketplace of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans with a wide variety of options for those struggling financially. You will fill out a straightforward application, and there’s no fee or obligation, nor will it impact your credit score.
Qualifying for a small business loan with Lendio is purposely simple, and there is no set length of time you need to be in business to qualify for a loan. Lendio's small business loan marketplace is used by everyone, from start-ups to seasoned business owners.
Gather documents requested by your chosen bank ahead of time to speed up the process. Lendio will let you know what you need to qualify and can even facilitate faster funding route requests.
A Point of Sale System That Grows with Your Retail Business
Acquiring funding is just one step towards accelerating the growth of your retail business. After reviewing our roundup of the top five retail business loans, you should have a good understanding of which business loans can deliver the most value for your effort, as well as how to apply for these loans and the qualification criteria.
Once you have the funding you need, make sure you have a retail software system that helps you handle your financial planning and business operations effectively. Here at POS Nation, we are proud to support retail small business growth. We work with a variety of retail organizations, ranging from independent owner-operators to fast-growing multi-location chains.
Regardless of your needs, our scalable retail POS system is capable of growing with your business. We are committed to working with you directly to customize a system that meets your unique business needs. A fully integrated retail POS software system (like ours) done right leaves you time and energy to focus your efforts on leveling up your business, delighting your customers, and supporting your staff.
To carve your path to small business (and POS) success this year, download our free guide: The Retail POS System Buyers’ Guide. Use this guide to find an ideal POS system capable of supporting your unique sales goals and objectives.