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The Sound of Small Business USA

The US is and has always been built on small businesses. Did you know the SBA’s 2019 report stated there are 30.7 million small businesses in the U.S. and they make up 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses? That’s right. They contribute not only to employment, but to innovation and the global economy. 

There are many upsides of owning a small business. There’s the flexibility and empowerment of being your own boss. There’s the possibility of financial freedom without the restrictions of working for someone else. And of course, maybe most importantly, there’s the ability to follow your own passion and do what you love.

Of course as many of us know, freedom comes with responsibilities and risk. For instance, right at the outset, 50% of all small businesses fail. Not the best odds when trying to set up a career and future. Small businesses tend to be the hardest hit during times of recession. And it’s more difficult to attract qualified employees when you might not be able to offer the same level of pay or benefits as a large corporation.

Despite the potential downsides, the good news is that the future of small business looks promising. Most of the recent studies and statistics show a future of growth and expansion, which bodes well for business owners and the US economy.

Need proof? According to a Guidant Financial and the Small Business Trends Alliance (SBTA) Small Business Trends 2021 survey:

  • 49 percent of small business owners plan to increase staff and expand or remodel their business. 
  • 55 percent will pivot with the times by investing in digital marketing 
  • 27 percent will be investing in IT infrastructure
  • 22 percent will invest in business services such as using a third-party or software to help them manage payroll, accounting, or inventory.

The fact that businesses are planning to invest right now means they see opportunities for growth and feel confident committing time and resources towards that growth. This speaks volumes especially considering we are still in the midst of a global pandemic and most small businesses have not fared well over the past year. Plus, as so many of us know, the hardest part of growing a business is cash flow management

The future of small business requires capital. 

But how do you secure it? Bank loans can be cumbersome and tedious, especially for small business owners. And often, they don’t provide the benefits other options do.

Also, many of the small businesses that require capital don’t qualify for traditional bank loans. The banking industry’s risk management model does little to support and encourage small entrepreneurs. 

Larger corporations tend to be more diversified and therefore can navigate growing pains more easily. Whereas a small business owner might have to mortgage a house, for example, to expand or even just to keep the business going.

Banks tend to be a poor match for a small business owner. There are however alternative methods that can help you fund your growth:

  • Equipment Leasing: Leases can provide a great way to source new equipment without having to secure a loan. Plus, you can keep the loan option available for other important projects.
  • Business Line of Credit: extremely flexible since you can continue to reuse and repay as often as you’d like, as long as your payments are on time.
  • HELOC – Home equity line of credit: Often a viable option for small businesses. It can be a bit risky as it ties your personal assets to your performance in business. While the costs are low, you have to put your personal finances on the line.
  • Pay Cash: Can you liquidate assets? Have a family member who can provide funds? If so, cash can be a great option.
  • Private Short-Term Unsecured Cash Loan: Working capital loans are easy to secure and typically no collateral is required with an alternative lender. And since they draw capital from private sources, they can be more flexible with the lending opportunities they provide.

There are many benefits of alternative lending which has led to a rise in small private finance companies in the last decade:

  • Private lenders such as AFG understand the personal risks of a small business owner and offer solutions that help the business thrive.
  • Unlike banks, most private lenders do not impose blanket liens on the business. The equipment financed is the only collateral required to guarantee the deal. No need to put family finances at risk.
  • Creative payment options and finance structures that take a company’s seasonality and downtime into account.
  • Prompt, simple process – most private lenders will make their credit decision in 24-48 hours with little paperwork (banks may take weeks reviewing financial statements).
  • Tax deductions (often, you can deduct the full cost of qualified equipment purchases).

We believe in the power and strength of small business. This country was built on it and will continue to thrive because of it. Which is why AFG does what we do. We hope our support of small business is evident in the way we structure our own processes and the way we work with our clients. We truly want what’s best for them and work hard to ensure we meet their goals every time.

If you’re a small business owner that wants to grow, reach out and learn more about your options. Let us find a solution that works best for your business.

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How To Finance Equipment For Your Business Needs

We’ve all heard the phrase you have to spend money to make money…  

But really, it’s only true if you spend that money wisely. Investing money into something that doesn’t improve the outcome of your business won’t get you anywhere. 

We know that having the right equipment to power your business is important. The proper equipment can increase your productivity, lower your costs, or give you access to new markets – all things that positively affect the bottom line.

Would you partner with an IT firm with old computers and network servers? Or how about a frequent coffee shop without an espresso machine? Or hire a construction company without the machinery required to build reliable houses? Absolutely not.

Businesses require the right equipment, machinery, hardware, and/or software in order to operate, gow, and succeed. And the ugly truth is, not everyone has the funds to cover these expenses. There are a few different options out there to get to the money-making stage.

We’ve summarized various ways to fund business equipment needs, each with pros and cons. 

Your pocket – Using cash payment to buy the equipment

Pros : Using your cash reserves to purchase equipment and machinery makes the transaction simple and fast as there’s no lease or loan to enter into, and the new purchase is owned outright.

Cons : Since cash is a finite resource compared to credit, it is almost never a good idea to purchase large business items with cash. Companies that only use cash limit their access to major resources when they are needed.

A bank/credit loanBorrowing money to purchase a piece of equipment and paying it back over time.

Pros : For companies with a strong financial standing, it is easy to secure credit for a large purchase. Using credit creates more flexibility, allows expansion of purchasing power to readily respond to opportunities for growth and to proactively improve machinery and equipment.

Cons : Applying for a line of credit can take a while. It requires detailed documentation such as audited financial statements and involves numerous fees and a substantial down payment.

An equipment financing company (leasing) Signing an agreement that allows you to use specific equipment for a period of time.

Pros : Leasing provides a fixed rate upfront and equal payments month-to-month, which makes budgeting and cash flow management easier. Leasing companies partner with you and understand your needs. They specialize in working with industrial equipment, so they understand your business and the equipment in your space. It is a smooth process where a credit decision can be made in under 48 hours. You are able to upgrade when needed. Plus, you can eliminate maintenance costs with leased equipment. Bonus: There are also significant tax deductions available!

Cons : Are there any? We haven’t found them. Leasing just makes sense.

 

Once you’ve decided to move forward with leasing your equipment…now what? Choosing a lease structure! There are a variety to consider: 

  • Operating Lease – This is the traditional lease agreement that typically provides the lowest payment and is a good option for overcoming any current capital restraints.
  • Capital Lease – a lease classified by the lessee as a purchase, with a title transfer to the lessee at the end of the term. 
  • First Amendment Lease – The first amendment lease allows you to purchase the equipment at one or more predetermined points during the lease. 
  • Tax Lease – A lease in which the lessor, is the party that is considered the owner of the leased equipment for tax purposes. The lessor assumes both the benefits and costs of ownership including depreciation, while the lessee (you) can still write off the lease payment as an expense.
  • Synthetic Lease – A synthetic lease is structured so that it is treated as a capital lease (similar to a loan) for tax purposes and an operating lease (traditional lease) for accounting purposes. 

How do you know which option is best for you? It depends on your business and specific situation. Before you shop for an equipment lease, think about your monthly budget, how long you’ll need the equipment for, how you’ll use it, and when you’ll need to upgrade it. 

Several other lease structures are available through AFG – we offer seamless flexibility to our clients, knowing every situation is different and unique.

Shopping for an equipment financing and leasing company can be overwhelming. Take a step back and consider these factors when selecting the company that is right for your business.

  • Experience – How long has the company been in business? Who are their satisfied customers? 
  • Convenience – How simple is the application process? How soon do you have access to the funds? Do they provide a personal account manager to help you in this process or do you have to reach out to customer care?
  • Specialization – Which industries does the company specialize in? 
  • Reputation – Customer references and overall experience

Businesses can work with a provider that’s intimately familiar with their industry and cooperatively select terms and conditions that meet the unique needs of the business.

With a number of variables involved in securing financing for equipment, AFG is a great place to lease. It makes the process straightforward, clear and convenient. It provides services to a wide range of credit profiles and brings competitive story-based financing to the table. 

“When we need equipment financing, we call Brandon at Alliance Funding. He gets our deals done on time and on budget. What else could you ask for?” – Steve “Barney” Byle, Corporate Controller, Edge metals Recycling, Inc.

AFG can help you find a solution that makes sense for your business.

Start your application today →

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How Working Capital loans can help pay your business taxes

If you run a business with expenses, you need working capital. What is working capital? Basically, it’s the cash that a business has on hand for current and short-term business operating expenditures. This includes things that are your non-negotiables, like utilities, payroll, taxes, and rent. These expenses are due regardless of the state of your business.

You need positive and healthy working capital for a business to not only survive but also for it to be successful. It ensures that business operations continue to run smoothly without any interruptions or hiccups.

Here are some benefits of a working capital loan : 

  • Provides reserves during a rough patch such as a global pandemic 
  • Gives the ability to expand your business or explore other markets
  • Helps with the acquisition of revenue-generating initiatives
  • Allows you to purchase inventory before the busy season in your industry
  • Supports the hiring and training of additional staff 
  • Assists with tax payments

How a Working Capital Loan can help you with your business taxes

Let’s face it, there is no running away from taxes. But there are tactics you can use to help make paying them easier on you and your business.

Many small businesses run on thin margins so when the time comes to pay taxes suddenly you are facing a huge dip into your operating capital. It’s almost like paying a full year’s rent on your move-in day. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could pay it out over 3-12 months instead? 

That’s exactly what a working capital loan provides.

It ensures you don’t have to stockpile cash for months prior to tax season. Instead, you can get a competitive business loan that you have several months to repay, freeing up some of your profits, while also paying your balance in full.

What about the interest that comes with a loan?

Did you know the IRS charges interest on the outstanding taxes that are due? That’s right –  they treat your balance as a loan and charge a 4-6% interest rate on it. Not only that, but they can also charge late fees (steep ones), place tax liens, or even go after your personal taxes and claim them in place of the missing amount. Tax liens usually have a rather severe impact on your credit history and can drive down your business and personal credit, making it harder to secure credit in the future. This is why low-interest working capital loans can be so beneficial in these situations – you can actually save money and protect your credit and reputation while paying the full amount on time. Now that’s a win-win.

Choosing the right offer for your business

The business loan process at banks is traditionally slow and complicated. They require extensive paperwork, heavily scrutinize your credit, and impart high fees and interest rates.  Whereas at AFG, we make sure our working capital loan process is FAST, EASY, and low risk. 

You can feel secure knowing you are partnering with a trusted lender who offers affordable rates and a smooth and hassle-free process so you can concentrate on your business. We’re here to make it simple for you to get the cash you need without surprises, hidden fees, or penalties.

Interested in applying for a working capital business loan? 

It’s easy – you can apply online with just a few essential documents. Once approved, the funds reach your business account within 24 hours.

Apply now and get up to $150,000 almost instantly.

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5 Ways for Business Owners to Reduce Their Taxable Income

The Internal Revenue Code allows for a wide variety of options to save money on taxes, encouraging entrepreneurs to create jobs and invest in thier businesses.

We do not recommend spending money for the sole purpose of reducing your taxes. However, you are likely to benefit from smart spending. Here are some popular solutions to lower your tax liabilities and save money for your business.

Tax Credits

The federal government offers tax credits and tax breaks that drive business owners to make decisions that improve the overall American economy. Actions such as hiring employees, creating an accessible environment for people with disabilities, shifting to emissions-free technologies, and even offering health coverage for employees can qualify you to save money on taxes.

Qualified Business Income (QBI) Deduction

You may qualify to deduct 20% from the QBI if your business is an S-Corp, a partnership, or a sole proprietorship. This deduction comes additionally to your regular deduction of business expenses. You could qualify if your taxable income is under $157,500. The amount goes up to $315,000 if you are filing a joint return with your spouse.

Write Off Bad Debt

Unfortunately, some customers may never pay for what they purchased on a note. The last quarter is the perfect time to identify those receivables and write them off to save money on taxes this year.

Fund a Retirement Plan (For Yourself and Employees)

Adding money to an Investment Retirement Account such as 401(k) and 403(b) free you from taxation up to a certain amount every year. The share of income put in an IRA is usually tax-free until you withdraw it. Consider consulting a tax advisor to make sure you qualify.

Section 179 and Bonus Depreciation

Business assets such as machinery, vehicles, and other equipment can qualify for a Section 179 deduction. This part of the IRS Code allows your business to write off up to $1,040,000 of the equipment cost in the first year. You can take advantage of this rule until you reach $2,590,000 for the year.

The additional bonus depreciation also offers a tax break of 50-100% on equipment cost. The current bonus depreciation rules are valid until January 1, 2023.

Please, note that you must put the newly acquired equipment in use by December 31 to take advantage of these tax benefits.

Note

Other restrictions may apply to the tax breaks explained in this article. Check if you are eligible with your tax advisor.

We Can Help

Alliance Funding Group offers equipment leasing solutions that qualify for Section 179 deduction.

Get a custom-tailored quote this year and save money on taxes.