Nonprofit lender Pacific Community Ventures offers affordable small-business loans to California businesses in communities where access to capital historically has been challenging.
PCV may be the right lender for your business if you:
Are looking for inexpensive rates: The lender offers APRs ranging from 7.10% to 15.19%, making its loans a less-expensive alternative to online business lenders, which typically have much higher rates.
Need a small-dollar value loan: PCV has a small-loan category, which includes loans up to $50,000. Loans of this size are often harder to obtain at commercial banks.
Have been turned down for other financing: Its requirements are less rigid than those of traditional banks and the Small Business Administration, which backs SBA loans, and the application process is based on a more hands-on, personal approach.
Are seeking business advice: PCV has a mentoring program that provides one-on-one guidance on finance and accounting, marketing, business planning and other areas.
Are in California: PCV small-business loans are available only to entrepreneurs in the Golden State, though its advising program is available to any business owner, regardless of location.
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Reasons to use Pacific Community Ventures
Low-cost financing for expansion or major investment
PCV offers term loans of up to $200,000 with an APR range of 7.10% to 15.19%. With loan terms of up to five years, PCV financing is a good low-cost option if you’re looking to finance a major business need, such as buying new equipment or opening a new location. If you want to pay back your loan early, PCV does not charge a prepayment fee.
PCV is also a good alternative to online business lenders, which typically offer ease of access but come with more expensive financing.
Affordable small loans
If you need a small loan for a short-term business need, PCV offers loans of $10,000 to $50,000 with an APR of 10.43% to 15.19%. These smaller amounts are usually harder to get from commercial banks. You could try online business lenders, but they may charge a higher APR.
PCV introduced its small-size loan category to help business owners manage their debt and finances strategically, says Robert Porter, PCV’s managing director for business advising and lending.
“Those people needing $10,000 or $20,000 or $50,000, eventually, a couple of years down the road, they’re going to need more money,” he says. “If they’re already a borrower for us, it’s going to be much easier for us and for them to get a higher amount of credit later on.”
Alternatively, the APR range for loans $50,000 to $200,000 is 7.10% to 13.38%.
Free guidance and training in business management
PCV has a small-business advising program that provides one-on-one mentoring with business owners in finance and accounting, marketing, business planning and other areas. It has a “pool of hundreds of professional mentors from all industries and areas of expertise,” PCV says on its website. The services are free to small-business owners anywhere in the U.S.
Although PCV has a set of criteria to evaluate borrowers, the nonprofit can be flexible with its requirements, and will consider working with you as long as you can tell a knowledgeable story about the state of your business.
As an example of what PCV might avoid, Porter describes a business owner who operates in several farmers markets but cannot explain “which one is making money and which one isn’t.”
“Those kinds of things are a red flag for us,” he says.
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Where Pacific Community Ventures falls short
Lending limited to California
PCV small-business loans are available only to entrepreneurs in California. However, its small-business advising program is available to any business owner in the nation.
Longer process than most online lenders
Getting approved for a PCV loan usually takes two weeks, which is faster than the typical processing time for an SBA or traditional bank loan. But if you’re dealing with an emergency, you’d get financing faster from an online lender.
Compare PCV with other lenders
If you want to compare Pacific Community Ventures with other lenders, use NerdWallet’s small-business loan tool. We gauged lender trustworthiness, market scope and user experience, among other factors, and arranged them by categories that include your revenue and how long you’ve been in business.
Updated July 28, 2017.