If you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner in need of lending services but may not qualify for or require a conventional business loan, a credit union can serve as a dependable financing option. At Vancity, we don’t just look at your credit history. Instead, we also consider your ambition, character and determination in our application process.
Discover the benefits of Vancity’s lending services. We offer flexible options to meet your unique business needs, competitive interest rates and professional advice. But before we discuss the various loan offerings, let’s first outline the initial steps you should take before applying for a business loan:
1. Write a Business Plan. How will you implement a marketing strategy? Taking the time to write out a comprehensive business plan will give you a full picture of what your financial needs really are. If you’re not sure where to start, Small Business BC has plenty of resources to help you along the way.
2. Determine how much money you need. Carefully consider what items are essential to your initial success and prioritize those first over the things that you can purchase later on in your business’ lifespan. Demonstrating your understanding of the financial aspect shows that you understand the money side of your business and will pay off in the long run.
3. Apply for a loan. You now know how much money you need, but there’s so many options that it’s hard to know which one is right for your business. Vancity offers two types of microfinance loans:
a. Peerloans: One peerloan, the With These Hands Loan, is specifically designed for industries like hospitality, service and construction for things like equipment, gears and tools. While no previous experience in your professional field is needed to apply, a certification(s) in your chosen field is required.
b. Microloans: If you’re new to the world of entrepreneurship, the Be My Own Boss Loan might be the right choice for you. The Next Step microloan is also available to support the unique needs of thriving small businesses in their second or third year of operations.
c. The Small Growers Fund was developed to help get small farm and food production businesses off the ground. Businesses that involve farming under 50 acres in a rural or urban setting or are producing food in other ways (such as tending nurseries or producing value-added food) are eligible to apply for a loan up to $75,000. Potential uses for the microloan include working capital, land leases, specialized farming tools or equipment and market development.
4. Re-pay the loan: Vancity aims to make the repayment process as palatable as possible. Depending on the type of loan, repayment period can be structured for up to seven years with no interest owing for the first year.
Here are a couple of testimonials of British Columbia businesses who have benefited from working with Vancity’s Business Account Managers:
Thomakis Greek Yogurt, based in Surrey, BC, shared their success story with Vancity’s Business Line of Credit:
“Vancity helped us with a line of credit to jumpstart our business, which allowed us to buy some equipment, and move into a commercial kitchen in April 2021. With this, we were able to serve 5 times the amount of customers and continue to grow our business. As our customer base grew and we maxed out our capacity again, it was time to grow once more! Ayush Anand at Vancity helped us navigate the loan process efficiently and we were able to secure another line of credit. This allowed us to have a safety net to expand into grocery stores. In December 2022, we partnered with a local dairy plant, and since then have launched in over 50 stores in Greater Vancouver! The experience with Vancity’s loan process has been straightforward, transparent, and seamless. We look forward to continuing to do business!”
Also based in BC, Zazubean Organic Chocolates has been able to share their confections nationwide (with flavours like salted toffee and banana, orange and ginger, and chili and cinnamon) with some help from a Vancity Operating Loan:
“We were most impressed with how quickly our offer was processed and implemented. We had access to additional working capital almost 24 hours after submission. Having a buffer with Vancity enabled us to have more freedom and spend which was fantastic and the rates were highly competitive. This gave us the opportunity to branch out and continue to grow our business.”
At Vancity we recognize the value and potential of businesses of every size and type. You can rely on us to help you make the right choices and access the funding you need to achieve your goals.
Vancity’s Microfinance Business Banking professionals are here to help you, no matter where you are in the business loan application process. Make an appointment or contact the Vancity Microfinance team at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more