More small businesses are opting for alternative financing over traditional bank loans, according to data released this week by financial company Merchant Cash USA. The vast majority – 89% – of entrepreneurs polled by Merchant Cash say they plan to continue to use alternative financing options in 2016. According to the survey, the reason such cash advances are attractive are “expedited procedures” that allow borrowers to get the needed capital more quickly than a traditional loan, which could take months to be approved.
Another reason small businesses turn to alternative financing, according to Merchant Cash, is the difficulty of securing smaller loans, since most traditional banks won’t consider giving out business loans lower than $200,000. Miriam Segal of the Small Business Administration explained the appeal of alternative financing in a report released earlier this year: “Peer-to-peer loans,” she wrote, “offer the benefits of an expedited application process, smaller loan amounts and shorter terms.”
Using a third-party marketing organization, Merchant Cash USA surveyed 6,532 entrepreneurs across the country to gather the data, which includes a breakdown of which industries are most favorably inclined to use alternative financing. The trucking industry topped the list, with 78% viewing such lending positively. Restaurants were the next highest, at 74%. Coming in at the bottom of the list were startups, with only 43% of such business owners inclined toward alternative financing.