There are 25 million entrepreneurs in the US, and around 60% seek financing each year to support growth initiatives, cover working capital levels and handle emergencies. Equity financing is difficult-to-almost impossible for most small businesses to obtain due to the level of competition for those funds. As a result of this circumstance, the majority of small businesses will seek Debt financing for working capital and business investments. The most popular form of debt financing comes from financial institutions such as banks and credit unions that also manage the banking processes of small businesses. These institutions are usually the first choice that small business loan applicants seek for financing through the form of business term loans, SBA loans, business credit cards and home equity lines of credit. In the late 90's through mid-2000's, banks and credit unions provided lending to small businesses and entrepreneurs like never before, right up until the financial crisis of 2008. Today, viable businesses with stable profits and excellent balance sheets are beginning to obtain financing again from these institutions, but the red tape and lengthy closing process usually kills investment opportunities due to the large amount of time before funding.
Traditional Small Business Term Loans and SBA Loans, don't approve nearly enough loan applicants to meet the growing financing demands of small business owner-operators. Traditional Small Business Term Loans are available to businesses with excellent profits, excellent financials, excellent business credit profiles, excellent personal credit profiles, good business plans, 3 years of operational history with no losses, and a number of other criterion that most small businesses owners are either not prepared for or don't qualify for. Business Credit Cards are still available but the amount of lines being offered usually aren't enough to operate a business and in some cases, banks are pulling their clients' credit lines spontaneously. Other popular sources of Debt financing, such as Private Investors, are one of the more difficult sources of capital because they usually invest in projects where they are a kin or friend to the individual requesting the funds. Also, tapping equity through Home Equity Lines has become difficult to a point where this option isn't available as it used to be previously to finance a business.
Please review the three links above to obtain more information on the three most popular forms of alternative financing vehicles for your small business right now. From there you can decide which one might be the best option to fund your growth initiatives, cover working capital levels, or handle your operational emergency.