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Situated in the far southeastern region of the United States, South Carolina provides its many residents with an exceptional living experience. It is an area steeped in history and rich in culture. Agriculture has historically been a primary industry in the state, and it remains so today. However, today’s economy is far more diverse, and tourism, manufacturing and the service sectors are all robust in this state. The U.S. Census Bureau indicates that South Carolina has a population of approximately five million residents, and it also has grown in population by approximately seven percent over the last five years. Entrepreneurs in this state have excellent economic conditions to grow their business, but many will require additional capital so that their business can continue to grow. A small business loan may provide you with the perfect source of capital you need for your business plans.

How Funds Can Be Used

With a small business loan, your bank account may be instantly infused with tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is a substantial amount of money that can be used to achieve great goals that you may have for your business. Each business owner will need to carefully create a customized plan for the use of funds, but generally, you may consider using the funds to open a new branch location, expand your office or warehouse space, purchase new equipment, develop new products, hire better staff and more. Many small business owners will use a combination of these and other uses to create a comprehensive growth plan.

The Top Small Business Lenders in South Carolina

Before you decide to apply for a South Carolina small business loan, you may be interested to learn more about the loan terms. The terms of the loan are critical in generating the monthly payment that you will be responsible for, so you understandably want to find the best terms available. Business loans are prevalent throughout the state’s financial institutions, but some banks make the most loans. The primary small business lenders in South Carolina include Arthur State Bank, Enterprise Bank of South Carolina, GrandSouth Bank, Anderson Brothers Bank, The Citizens Bank, Carolina Alliance Bank and others. Many of these institutions publish their best rates and terms available online. However, remember that the published rates are available only to the most qualified candidates.

The Importance of Updating Your Business Plan

Exploring bank websites is a great way to learn more about projected rates and terms, but before you actually apply for a loan, you should do some planning and research. Ideally, you want to borrow only what is needed rather than a grossly larger loan amount than is needed. Furthermore, the lender will need to know your use of funds and anticipated loan amount up-front in the early stages of the loan process. Update your business plan to describe all growth and development plans. Indicate a detailed report of the costs associated with each stage of your growth plan. If necessary, reach out to third party vendors to firm up costs. This will help you to arrive at a firm loan amount needed. Then, input your loan amount and anticipated loan terms into an online loan calculator to generate an estimated monthly payment. You can compare this loan payment against your budget to verify that it will be affordable for you. If you discover that your plans are too significant and that you cannot afford the loan that you need, now is the time to adjust your plans and to revise your use of funds.

When You Begin the Loan Process

The overall processing and underwriting time frame can take several weeks or longer in some cases. After you complete the initial loan application, the lender will typically ask you to provide a significant amount of paperwork. The estimated time frame may include a few days for you to gather together these items. Keep in mind that underwriting and processing work cannot begin until you provide this documentation to the lender. With this in mind, you may pull together some of the items before you apply to speed the process along. Business and personal tax returns and bank statements, operating statements, a business plan and numerous other items will be required by most lenders. Some loans require you to pledge collateral, so identifying the collateral that you will use can also hasten the process.

While South Carolina provides an exceptional economic climate for you to run your small business in, the reality is that many small businesses require extra capital from time to time. If you have reached a point in your business plan where an infusion of capital is necessary, compare small business loans against other financing solutions available. You may decide that now is the right time to begin the loan process.