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What Can a Small Business Do to Grow During a Recession?

A recession can be a challenging time for small businesses, but there are still strategies they can use to grow and thrive. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Focus on existing customers: During a recession, it's essential to maintain and strengthen relationships with your existing customers. Offer incentives to encourage repeat business and referrals. Consider loyalty programs, special deals, and personalized communications.

  2. Diversify your products or services: Consider expanding your offerings to diversify your revenue streams. Explore new markets or product lines that complement your existing business. This can help reduce the impact of an economic downturn on your business.

  3. Embrace digital marketing: In today's digital age, a strong online presence is essential. Invest in online marketing strategies, such as search engine optimization, social media marketing, and email marketing, to reach a wider audience and drive traffic to your website.

  4. Cut costs and optimize operations: Look for ways to streamline your business operations and reduce expenses. Consider renegotiating contracts, optimizing your supply chain, and automating tasks where possible. This can help you save money and operate more efficiently.

  5. Seek out government assistance: During a recession, governments often offer assistance programs to small businesses. Check with your local government to see what programs are available and how you can qualify.

  6. Explore partnerships: Consider partnering with other businesses or organizations to share resources and reduce costs. Look for opportunities to collaborate on marketing, advertising, or joint ventures.

  7. Invest in your employees: Your employees are essential to your business's success. During a recession, it's crucial to maintain employee morale and retain your best talent. Consider offering training and development opportunities, flexible work arrangements, and employee benefits to keep your staff motivated and engaged.

  8. Consider an SBA 504 or 7A Loan: The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers a variety of loan programs to help small businesses access financing. Two popular SBA loan programs are the SBA 504 loan program and the SBA 7(a) loan program.

SBA 504 loan program:

The SBA 504 loan program provides long-term, fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets, such as real estate, buildings, and equipment. The loans are made in partnership with certified development companies (CDCs / Wasatch Business Finance) and private lenders. The CDC provides up to 40% of the total project cost, while the lender provides 50%, and the borrower contributes at least 10%. The maximum loan amount is $5 million, and the repayment terms can range from 10 to 25 years.

SBA 7(a) loan program:

The SBA 7(a) loan program is the SBA's primary loan program, providing financing for a variety of business purposes, such as working capital, equipment purchases, and debt refinancing. The loans are made by approved lenders and partially guaranteed by the SBA. The maximum loan amount is $5 million, and the repayment terms can range from 7 to 25 years, depending on the purpose of the loan. The interest rates on SBA 7(a) loans are typically lower than those on conventional loans.

Both SBA 504 loans and SBA 7(a) loans can be used for a variety of purposes, but there are some key differences between the two programs. SBA 504 loans are primarily for major fixed assets, while SBA 7(a) loans can be used for a wider range of purposes. Additionally, the SBA 504 loan program requires a larger down payment from the borrower and has more specific requirements for the use of funds.

By implementing these strategies, small businesses can navigate a recession and position themselves for growth when the economy improves.

For more information or help growing your small business using an SBA 504 Loan, contact Wasatch Business Finance at 385-799-6700 or visit

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