There’s a cold reality for small business owners: big banks don’t like to lend them money. It doesn’t matter if they’ve been a personal customer with the institution for years; if they don’t have the credit and collateral, the bank will say no. This is after going through an extensive loan application process that could take well over a month and require the potential borrower to reveal his or her personal finances alongside the business ones. Thankfully, small business loans aren’t limited to banks. Here are some other financing options.

Angel Investors

Angel investors are a fantastic way to secure funding for small business start-up or expansion costs. An angel investor is an established person willing to lend his or her money to a smaller business. Once the money is lent, the investor may require it to be paid back with or without interest, or may accept remittance via a percentage of company profits. Another advantage to angel investing is the lender will help out with the business plans and operations, which lends, if you will, experience to the new entrepreneur’s dream and secures a better chance at success.

Government Funding

The federal, state, and local governments all understand one thing: business boosts the economy. As such, there are many lending programs across the board designed to help small businesses off the ground to establish themselves within their communities. The federal government’s SBA is a fantastic resource for small business loans, and entrepreneurs should also check their state and local municipalities to see what options might be available to them. If the area has a Community Development Company, this nonprofit might also help a business owner secure some much-needed cash.

Niche Lending

Alongside the government, there are also plenty of nonprofits that are willing to issue small business loans to entrepreneurs strapped for cash. Many of these are looking build a specific business sector, such as software development or research. These loans work well because the pool of business owners seeking funding is likely to be smaller than competing for government funds and the nonprofit may offer lower interest rates depending on the financing opportunity.

These are just some ways that people can realize their small business dreams. Another popular source of funding a small business venture after a bank says no is through family and friends. If anyone wants a business owner to succeed, it’s his or her personal circle, and many people turn to these people for their small business loans. The advantage of this option is clear: the money is handed over with love, and who can ask for more than that?