As one of the few states in the country experiencing a significant rise in population growth, Arizona is ablaze with opportunities for small businesses. According to the SBA, over half a million small businesses call Arizona their home—and nearly 1 million workers are employed by small businesses in the state.
That said, as Arizona’s economy continues to grow, small businesses will likely need to secure business loans, whether to regulate uneven cash flow, expand their business, or a host of other reasons.
In this guide, we’ll review the best Arizona small business loans, as well as list a few additional resources that you can consult as your search for the right financing for your Arizona business.
Aside from small business loans from traditional lending sources—like banks and credit unions—you’ll find that Arizona has several loan programs for businesses in underserved areas. Many of these programs make it easier for borrowers to access capital when they wouldn’t otherwise qualify for a business loan from a commercial lender.
With that in mind, here are the best Arizona small business loans:
Located in central Arizona, Verde Valley is known for its free-flowing river and scenic trails. It also has the Verde Valley Regional Economic Organization (VVREO), which has a revolving loan program for entrepreneurs that are interested in starting or relocating their business to Verde Valley.
These revolving loans start at $25,000 and are meant for businesses that have been unable to secure traditional forms of business financing. Loans issued by VVREO may be used to purchase supplies, inventory, complete renovations, or even lease business real estate.
You will need to download VVREO’s loan application form and fill out questions regarding yourself, your business profile, business expenses, and provide financial documentation in order to apply.
Ranked as one of the premier SBA lenders in Arizona for over 15 years, the Southwestern Business Financing Corporation (SBFC) has invested over $1.5 billion in working capital to small businesses since 1981.
SBFC offers SBA 504 loans, which are government-guaranteed loans issued exclusively for the purpose of purchasing real estate, equipment, or other large fixed-assets. To qualify for an SBA 504 loan, your business must:
The first step to acquiring an SBA 504 loan from SBFC is to download a loan application, which can be found on their website. You will then be able to contact a loan officer who will discuss your application and the next steps in the business financing process.
Accion is a nonprofit organization that has been around for almost 60 years—and since 1991, they’ve focused on providing loans to small businesses in the United States. Accion also specializes in lending to women-owned, veteran-owned, and minority-owned businesses. Accion provides term loans up to $250,000, with APRs starting at 7%.
Though the borrower eligibility requirements are different for every state, to qualify for an Accion business loan in Arizona, borrowers need to have:
It’s also worth noting that Accion has other business loan requirements, such as no bankruptcies, no late rent or mortgage payments in the past 12 months, and no foreclosures over the past 24 months.
The Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation (NEDCO) is a nonprofit organization and certified CDFI that provides Arizona small business loans up to $50,000 for business owners in Phoenix and East Valley.
CDFIs, or community development financial institutions, are organizations that generally focus on prioritizing the needs of businesses in low-income areas. NEDCO also offers partial loan guarantees, as well as training, education, and networking opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs.
To apply for a NEDCO loan, you must submit a loan application and show documentation that you’ve been declined by a commercial lender. You’ll also need to pay a $100 application fee.
In terms of documentation, NEDCO requires all loan applicants to submit:
It’s worth noting that despite these requirements, NEDCO does work with startup businesses and if you’re applying for startup funding, they simply ask that you provide as much as possible of the requested financial documents.
Finally, Prestamos CDFI provides financial services and loans to small businesses in Arizona to encourage economic development. Prestamos CDFI offers three types of working capital loans: SBA Community Advantage loans, small business loans, and microloans.
The SBA Community Advantage loan is backed by the federal government and has a term of up to 10 years. These loans range from $100,000 to $250,000 and borrowers can use the proceeds to finance large expenses, such as equipment purchases, business acquisitions, expansions, and more.
Next, Prestamos CDFI’s small business loan amounts range from $50,000 to $1 million. These small business loans have fixed interest rates starting at 8.5%. Prestamos small business loans require collateral—and to be eligible for one of these Arizona business loans, you’ll also need at least two years of business operating history.
For businesses that need smaller amounts of working capital to purchase inventory, equipment, or make minor renovations, the Prestamos microloan program provides $10,000 to $50,000 in capital with rates starting at 7.5%. Prestamos’ microloans have five-year terms and are ideal for businesses that do not have strong credit or new businesses with little to no credit history.
To apply for a Prestamos loan, you will need to fill out an online application and submit basic information about your business, such as your ownership percentage, business name, years in business, and revenue.
On top of small business loan opportunities, Arizona offers an impressive amount of financial and additional resources for business owners seeking mentorship or wanting to connect with like-minded entrepreneurs.
Below are some of the most useful resources for small business owners in Arizona:
The Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) is the top state economic development association. The ACA has a wide range of business services for new and existing small businesses.
Business owners can refer to the ACA if they need business counseling, business certification programs, or access to financial resources. The ACA also helps startups get access to coworking spaces, incubators, and capital resources.
Are you a Hispanic business owner headquartered in Arizona? You could apply for membership at the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (AZHCC), which supports Hispanic-owned businesses in Arizona.
AZHCC provides business development services, funding assistance, and training programs. AZHCC also facilitates networking opportunities by hosting several events throughout the year. In addition, AZHCC now offers small business grants up to $6,000 through its Small Business SUCCESS grant program.
The Arizona Small Business Association (ASBA) is one of the largest small business associations in that state. ASBA advocates for the success of small businesses—all members of ASBA are listed in their business directory for referrals and receive invitations to over 20 networking events each year.
However, membership to the ASBA is not free. There are four tiers of membership, and membership fees range from $350 to $1,250 annually.
The Black Chamber of Arizona (BCAZ) is dedicated to advancing the success of Black-owned businesses to support the economic development of Arizona.
BCAZ particularly focuses on supporting legislation to promote the growth and development of small businesses and address challenges that are unique to Black-owned businesses. Members of BCAZ will receive access to exclusive networking opportunities and indispensable resources.
At the end of the day, when you’re on the hunt for the right business loan, you may want to expand your search outside of your home state. If you’re looking for an Arizona small business loan, however, you have plenty of places to begin your search if you’d prefer to stay local.
That said, if you’re having trouble qualifying or finding the right financing for your business, you might look into alternative lenders, like BlueVine, OnDeck, or Funding Circle. These online lenders generally have more flexible requirements and often take less than a few days to process loan applications.
Zoe Weisner is a contributing writer at Fundera. Previously, Zoe worked at BlueVine, a fintech startup that provides working capital to small businesses. At BlueVine, Zoe worked with small business owners to understand their financial needs and wrote content about small business-related topics, including marketing, business operations, and small business financing. Today, Zoe writes articles about personal finance, small business, and banking.