How Our Small Business Loans Work
Pacific Community Ventures’ small business loan program provides debt capital and resources to California businesses who are beyond the startup phase but have trouble qualifying for loans from traditional banks or Small Business Administration lenders.
We’ll provide you and your small business with capital and pro bono expert advice to grow your business. Our goal is to help you get ‘bankable’ while also working toward being able to pay good wages, offer benefits, or provide career opportunities to help workers thrive. Our small business loans also put businesses on a path to grow and scale so they can attract additional capital.
Check out our FAQ below for more information on:
- Who’s eligible?
- What kinds of loans do you offer?
- What are your terms?
- Do you require collateral or minimum credit scores?
- What Is The California IBank Disaster Loan Program?
- What documents will I need, and why?
- How does the process work?
- What if I lose my Lenderfit login?
- What is Good Jobs, Good Business?
- What does PCV consider a ‘good job’?
- What financial benefits are tied to ‘Good Jobs’ in my loan?
- What if I’m not approved?
Who’s Eligible For A Small Business Loan?
If you’re a California company that’s been in business for at least 12 months then we’d love to work with you!
We also specialize in working with small business owners who’ve had a hard time accessing capital, like female entrepreneurs, immigrant entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs of color, and borrowers that may have been turned down for SBA or traditional bank loans.
Our typical clients are small businesses with at least 1 part-time or full-time employee who would like to grow. Businesses must be located in California and have been in operation at least 12 months (sorry, we don’t work with startups at this time).
For our standard small business loans, there are no minimum credit scores for consideration. Please note, for Disaster Loans specifically the California IBank requires a minimum credit score of 550. Your business should be profitable and/or generating revenue at the time you apply. It’s ideal if your businesses can show at least 6 months of ongoing profitability, but it’s not required.
Please note, at this time we cannot work with businesses in the rideshare industry (ex. Uber, Lyft, GrubHub, Doordash) or the marijuana industry.
What Kinds Of Small Business Loans Are Available?
Pacific Community Ventures offers small business loans and microloans up to $250,000.
Some example small business loan purposes include:
- Working capital
- Inventory purchase
- Acquisition and/or repair of machinery and equipment
- New construction, expansion and/or repair
- Acquisition of existing business
In order to serve more small businesses across California that have been impacted by COVID-19 and the resulting economic fallout, PCV is also currently participating in the California IBank Disaster Loan program with loans up to $100,000.
What Are Your Terms?
Our general terms
- Loan terms can range from 1-5 years
- No penalties for early repayment of loans
- All loans will be fully amortized
- Automatic withdrawal (ACH) required for all payments
- For Disaster Loans interest rates range from 8.75% fixed (depending on the loan amount and other factors)
- For non-disaster loans interest rates range from 7% – 13% fixed (depending on the loan amount and other credit factors)
- 1% – 5% loan fees at time of closing
Do You Require Collateral?
We require a personal guarantee for anyone who owns 20% or more of the business. We also consider all types of collateral including business and personal assets (may include security or pledge). While we check the credit for anyone who owns 20% or more of the business, we do not have a minimum score, and remain flexible.
What Is The California IBank Disaster Loan Program?
Demand for our loans has spiked 20X when the COVID pandemic began in 2020. To meet this need we have worked with the California IBank to help us “guarantee” many of our loans to small business owners who have been hit hard by COVID and the resulting economic fallout. This process means a faster approval process for small business owners, and that we’re able to work with more small business owners than we otherwise might have been able to. The loan guarantees provided for the Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program help mitigate barriers to capital for those small businesses that may not qualify for federal disaster funds, including businesses in low-wealth and immigrant communities. You can learn more about the California IBank Disaster Relief program here.
What Documents Will I Need, And Why?
Before you apply for a loan, you should have the following documents ready:
- Business tax returns – Allows us to verify business income, and understand financial performance of your business over time
- Profit and loss statement – Helps us understand recent financial performance
- Last 3 months business bank statements – Allows us to understand the cash flow dynamics of your business
- Business debt schedule – Informs us of other outstanding debt at your company , if any, and allows us to calculate future monthly debt service payments
- Personal tax returns – Allows us to assess additional income sources
- Authorization to pull your credit report – Allows us to understand your credit history. We are most focused on a recent pattern of debt repayment and resolution of previous issues. Credit is pulled for anyone who owns more than 20% of the company.
How Does The Process Work?
Fill out an application. Tell us a few basic things about yourself and your business. If you meet our initial eligibility criteria, you’ll receive an email with a link to our loan application platform, Lenderfit. Please click the link in that email and make an account. Please make sure you check your junk folder if you don’t receive it. Note that your pre-application is NOT COMPLETE, until you make an account on Lenderfit. If you have problems setting up your account, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you’re logged onto your Lenderfit account, you’ll see a checklist outlining the underwriting process as well as the items we will need you to submit along the way. Please complete the first items on the checklist. We will review and respond as soon as possible to inform you of your eligibility to apply. You can send any questions you have directly through the message feature on the Lenderfit portal.
Once we confirm you are eligible, we’ll ask you to submit up to two years of tax returns, a YTD profit & loss statement, and 3 months of business bank statements. Additional financial documents, like company debt schedules may be needed as we process your application. We’ll also pull your blended credit report (including business & personal credit).
Once we’ve reviewed your documents, we’ll make a decision on your loan. That process usually takes between 1 — 3 business days, during which time we’re in contact with you so there are no surprises. Once your loan is approved, we’ll move to closing and let you know next steps.
What If I Lose My Lenderfit Login?
You will receive an email with a link to our loan application platform, Lenderfit. Please click the link in that email and make an account. Please make sure you check your junk folder if you don’t receive it. Note that your pre-application is NOT COMPLETE, until you make an account on Lenderfit. If you can’t find your personalized login from one of the emails you receive, you can log back into your Lenderfit account here.
The rest of your application experience will be managed through this platform. When you create an account you will see a checklist outlining the underwriting process as well as the items we will need you to submit along the way.
What is Good Jobs, Good Business?
We know that business owners like you want to provide really good jobs for workers, but sometimes you’re not sure how to raise wages, add benefits, or engage employees in ways that make sense for your bottom line. Good Jobs, Good Business is a free and in-depth toolkit that equips you with the practical tools and resources you need to offer good jobs in a way that balances the needs of the business with the needs of your employees. We also have hundreds of expert advisors and business coaches who can help you implement strategies from Good Jobs, Good Business completely for free
What Does PCV Consider A ‘Good Job’?
After conducting in-depth research and interviews with small business owners across America, workers across industries, leading experts in labor issues, and fellow community investors, PCV identified five core components of a good job. Given that the specific elements of a good job vary by industry, business size, job function, and employee demographics, PCV created a flexible definition. A good job, according to the study, provides at least three of the following five key elements:
- A Living Wage – A majority of employees earn a wage that supports a single working parent with one child (see the MIT Living Wage Calculator)
- Basic Benefits – Providing a minimum of 2 weeks paid leave annually, OR Employer-subsidized health insurance, OR Retirement savings plan offered to all Full-Time employees
- Career-Building Opportunities – Providing an average of 12 hours of training, excluding onboarding, OR Paying workers’ costs of obtaining relevant credentials, OR At least one employee is promoted in last 12 months and at least one position is filled by an internal candidate
- Wealth-Building Opportunities – Offering a retirement savings plan which includes an employer-contribution, OR Offering employees an ownership stake or profit-sharing in the company
- Fair & Engaging Workplace – Employees are provided their schedules at least two weeks in advance, OR Employees undergo regular performance reviews
What Financial Benefits Are Tied To ‘Good Jobs’ In My Loan?
PCV’s main focus as a nonprofit is strengthening small businesses by helping them create jobs that both retain employees and increase revenues. When you work with PCV as a lender, you’ll be given a free toolkit called Good Jobs, Good Business that gives you tools and advice to do that in a way that balances the needs of your business with the needs of your employees. We’ll also pair you with a free advisor to help you work on that, and figure out ways to grow your company
We’re not just talking the talk, though. PCV will actually pay you for every ‘good jobs’ area that you improve on each year for the life of your loan. You’ll decide with your free and confidential business advisor what areas of the Good Jobs, Good Business toolkit you may want to work on, and each year you’ll let us know about progress towards your goals by submitting an online survey at the end of each calendar year. PCV will pay you $100 for the timely submission of such survey. In addition, PCV will pay borrowers with loans of $50,000 – $250,000, $750 for each ‘good job’ attribute that is instituted. Borrowers with loans of $10,000 – $50,000 will receive $300 for each attribute adopted.
What if I’m Not Approved For A Loan?
Pacific Community Ventures is a nonprofit dedicated to empowering small businesses. If we can’t offer you a small business loan, we’ll either refer you to one of our partner banks, credit unions, or community lenders who can, or we’ll match you with a free business advisor who can guide you on getting your business into a place where we can provide you a loan. With a PCV small business loan, you’re never alone — we’re here to help every step of the way.
As a nonprofit community investor, we’re more flexible than a bank, credit union, or the Small Business Administration. We make the loan process simple and straightforward.
We Care About You
We’ve been providing small business support to California communities for 20 years, and we want a personal relationship with each and every business owner we work with.
We Respond Quickly
We’ll give you quick response on your eligibility. Our loan officers will respond to your loan application within 48 hours, and guide you through the process.
With You All the Way
We provide one-on-one guidance during the application process and the entire time your business is paying back the loan, to ensure your long-term success.