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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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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.

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4 Ways to Avoid Equipment Obsolescence

According to the law of accelerating returns, the speed at which technologies improve doubles every ten years. The equipment we consider cutting-edge today is likely to become uncompetitive or even obsolete in just a few years. That is unsettling news for businesses that rely on high-tech solutions.

How to avoid equipment obsolescence?

Companies rely on stable cash flow and planned capital expenditures to stay on budget. We have identified four ways that can help you keep up.

1. Monitor the value of your equipment

Equipment can make up a large share of a company’s total assets. Companies that employ complex technological solutions have to pay special attention. It is crucial to identify the right moment to upgrade. As new generations of tech are being launched, the market value of older equipment drops.

Sometimes, an early upgrade will help avoid depreciation losses in the future, while the freed-up funds will provide for a wider range of procurement options.

2. Lease your equipment

Equipment leasing solutions offer beneficial ways to upgrade because you get a choice of options at the end of the term. For example, you can

  • Purchase the equipment at market value
  • Keep leasing with lower monthly payments
  • Return the equipment and upgrade

Leasing is faster than using a bank loan and requires little to zero money upfront. That allows swift upgrades on a budget and helping to avoid equipment obsolescence within your business.

3. Keep track of your working capital

Working capital is the net amount of current (liquid) assets that your business has. Maintaining a positive working capital balance is not just a general best practice. The available cash reserves can be used to secure a good deal on equipment on short notice, saving lots of money in perspective.

Thousands of companies in America use working capital loans or lines of credit that allow extra flexibility in thier business. For example, at AFG, we can provide up to $250,000 of unsecured funds in just 24 hours.

4. Mind the tax returns

No one enjoys the topic of taxes unless it is about deductions. According to Section 179 of the IRS Tax Code, you can deduct up to $2,590,000 of the total equipment price in 2020. You can take advantage of this regulation every year, but only up to the set limit. That is another reason why timely upgrades can preserve your company’s budget.

Running a business comes with much effort and responsibility. Choosing simple financial solutions can help you avoid equipment obsolescence and generate better returns on capital-heavy purchases.

Chat with an experienced Account Manager to learn more about quick and easy equipment financing & leasing options for your business.

Alliance Funding Group No Comments

AFG Funds a Transportation Company Despite COVID-19 Related Challenges

  • Approval for a transportation company, a restricted industry among lenders due to COVID-19
  • Helped avoid lay-offs by providing quick funding
  • The client received enough funds to stay open as its SBA relief application is being reviewed

As American businesses are experiencing hardships in Q2 and Q3 of 2020, Alliance Funding Group helps small and medium-sized companies retain their financial welfare.

AFG’s Unsecured Working Capital Program has seen an increased demand in the past few months. Our VP of Working Capital Products, Mike Amezquita, has shared some details on a recently funded deal.

Solution

Courtesy Transportation out of North Carolina is a current leasing client of Alliance Funding Group. It has applied for government funding, provided by the Small Business Administration, to support its operations and cover payroll expenses. However, the waiting time for such loans is currently measured in months.

Mike worked with the company to help them bridge the gap before the expected government aid arrives sometime in the summer. He was able to secure an approval for up to $40,000 and up to 9 months with manageable weekly payments.

“I’ve been working in financing for over 6 years. I understand the equipment and typical challenges that passenger transport and hauling companies face. Courtesy Transportation among hundreds of our customers rely on AFG’s resources and experience to efficiently run thier businesses. I do my best every day to answer questions, educate them on financing and leasing products, and fund deals fast.”

Mike Amezquita, VP of Working Capital Products