There are so many words we toss out casually every day, almost without thinking. But because words have power, it’s worth taking a step back to ask: What do we really mean?
Take the word champion. Merriam-Webster online defines it in several different ways but first as a warrior, a fighter. Interesting, that’s exactly what we mean when we talk about small businesses (and their owners) as champions. They’re in the trenches, week after week, year after year, carving out niches, providing new services, selling much-needed products. As fulfilling as starting and running a small business can be, business owners agree it’s almost never easy.
In the U.S., especially, small business has taken on even greater significance, beyond the amazing realities of growing something from scratch. Small business has in many ways been the backbone of our economy, providing proportionately more jobs than large companies, somehow keeping our economy chugging along through the worst of times. Not all small businesses made it through the recession. But those that did emerged as true champions, ready to take on the next round of challenges ahead.
The significance of small business extends even further than serving as an economic mainstay for the country. Small business owners all begin with a vision. Increasingly, this vision taps into a higher purpose and answers lofty questions like how can we contribute to the greater good? Growing numbers of businesses are started to solve specific social and environmental problems. Social entrepreneurs seek to serve through growing businesses. And more and more businesses generally are adopting green practices and paying close attention to where and how their products are made or grown.
This is how small businesses are leading us, and how they practice being champions every day.
But there are other meanings for champion, too. Merriam Webster also defines champion as to protect or fight for, to act as a militant supporter of, uphold, advocate for. This is where we come in. At Business Financial Services, this is how we define ourselves, as champions of, advocates for and yes, even militant supporters of, small and medium-sized businesses. We’re part of an entire emerging industry of non-bank resources that provide businesses with what they need the most: Working capital.
At Business Financial Services, we set our sights on helping owners grow their businesses long before bank lending fell off during the recession. We were already there, as a steady and reliable source of capital for businesses that were well-managed and poised for growth—even if they didn’t meet bank lending requirements. Many didn’t—and don’t—but are still solid businesses that go on to grow and thrive once they have access to the capital they need.
The demand for capital is growing, not just among small businesses but with medium-sized and large companies, too. As the economy picks up steam, businesses need to expand, to upgrade; to add new product lines; to purchase much-needed equipment. Plans put on hold for the past four or five years are off the shelf and ready to be executed. The essential ingredient? Working capital. And more and more businesses, across all sectors and across the U.S., are turning to BFS for that.
To meet this growing demand, earlier this year we expanded our offerings to include business loans of up to $2 million. We’ve kept the application and approval process as easy and accessible for busy business owners as we possibly can. We’re proud to be a champion of businesses—small, medium, large—who we think are the most impressive champions around.
Image courtesy of bplanet / FreeDigitalPhotos.net