GROW YOUR BUSINESS
Our nonprofit seeks to help entrepreneurs build resilience and sustainability, which is why coaching is free of charge! We and our partners in community business development offer guidance and advice in critical areas such as billing, financial management, and cash flow projections that help new and growing businesses.
HOW IT WORKS
As part of our mission, Slow Money SLO works to connect food and farming entrepreneurs to local investors on the basis of the Slow Money Principles. Through guiding lending agreements and supporting small businesses throughout the lending project, Slow Money SLO is able to foster small, locally owned food and farming, thereby doing our part in strengthening the food system. We want to hear about your project! Tell us more about it below.
Are you a food producer looking for resources on kitchen space or county food production regulations? Check out our Resource Room for some answers to FAQ's!
*Si prefiere recibir información en español, por favor, sigue aquí.
LOANS FACILITATED BY SLOW MONEY SLO: WHAT TO EXPECT
Here are some thoughts to help you consider whether a Slow Money SLO facilitated loan project is right for you.
1. First, we are assuming that you don't have other sources of funds, cannot qualify for traditional bank loans, etc. If you need $5K or so, we would suggest starting with www.Kiva.org. After you pay back that loan, folks may be ready to help with further growth. Kiva is an easier application than working with Slow Money SLO - another reason you may want to start here.
2. Any potential lenders will look at your business history, credit, current performance of the business and plans for the next couple of years. You should tell a story in terms of actions and financials. Is the business now profitable? If not, how are you supporting yourself and any employees? Lenders will want to see what the loan will help you accomplish, and how it will enable you to generate the cash to pay back the loans.
3. Your CPA ought to be able to assist with reports on your Profit and Loss, Balance Sheet and cash flow. Cash flow projections are a tool that every small business should have. There is plenty of info on the web, but here is a link to start with. This is essential for obtaining what we call local peer to peer loans.
4. If you did not write a business plan for the business venture, it may be time to compose a document that helps guide you through the next couple of years. Here is a link to some templates. You don't have to write a large volume, but walking through the outline of these plan documents can help you to compose a short paragraph or two on each topic.
The local SCORE group offers free guidance to help you write a plan and other aspects of running a business. For example, you may want to do your own bookkeeping to avoid unscrupulous bookkeepers that might shave money off the top. Also, paying a CPA to do just bookkeeping is expensive. Just a little Quick Books knowledge is all you need to handle your own books.
5. You should be committed to your plans for the next few years. If you have a lot of options being considered with no specific focus, then folks will see that you are not ready for a loan commitment. We will expect you to stay in touch and provide updates during the payback period. You should see this as a benefit, because we would want to promote you and support your efforts, providing advice if issues arise.
6. Loans from Slow Money SLO lenders are typically about 4% interest, 3-4 years with monthly payback. Strict fees are assessed if payment dates are missed. Since these lenders are individuals, including your consumers and fans, rather than institutions, we hope they would to be high on your list of loan payment priorities.
Here is a link to help you determine what a monthly payment would be, based on a loan amount and interest rate. Use 5% and 2 year payback to give you a high estimate.