SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Small businesses are the heart of San Diego's economy, but for those looking to start one, the process can feel overwhelming.
It's a gap the nonprofit lender Accion has been working to fill for the last 25 years.
"Sometimes thinking about getting a loan can be scary, and I think one of the things we really try to do through our process with our staff is really walk alongside that business owner," said Elizabeth Shott, CEO of Accion.
Since they began in 1994, Accion has loaned $39 million to roughly 3,100 small businesses.
"We're teaching them about their credit, about their finance, and their cash flow. So through the loan process they're getting a lot of one-on-one education from our staff team," said Shott.
On Accion's website, you can apply for a loan as well as learn about free resources available in San Diego.
Some free resources include:
- Legal clinics at universities
- San Diego Small Business Development Center
- A patent attorney available once a month at the library
Francisco Moreno, owner of Tacos La Mezcla, is one of the many entrepreneurs who's received both a loan and guidance from Accion.
“I guess the unknown is really scary, financially it can be really stressful," said Moreno.
After Moreno successfully launched his food truck he was able to open a restaurant with help from Accion.
Shott cautions businesses to be careful when getting any loan, being sure to ask questions and understand the terms and fees. Her staff often hears about predatory lenders online which can ultimately cost a business far more than they're able to afford.
Their partner nonprofit CDC compiled this list to help entrepreneurs in thinking about the questions/info they should know prior to getting a loan.