125 North Fulton St. Ithaca, NY 14850
Phone: (607) 273-4611
Toll Free: (877) 273-AFCU      Contact

Business Loans

Alternatives is committed to small businesses. We want your business to succeed, and we are looking for long term lending and deposit relationships. We ask for comprehensive information for the application, and have provided a list of requested items below. The information is needed to enable us to make a responsible loan decision. As time-consuming as it sometimes is to compile, our experience shows that careful financial planning can be a significant factor in the success of a business.   

Please note: Alternatives is a regional credit union. We offer business loans to businesses located in Ithaca, Tompkins County, and the surrounding counties of Schuyler, Chemung, Tioga, Cortland, Cayuga and Seneca.

What you will need to apply for a Business Loan at Alternatives:

  • Loan application form
  • Personal financial statement
  • Business plan (including all necessary financial statements)
  • For existing businesses, three years of financial statements and tax returns 
Support for idea development and compiling these important documents is available through our Business CENTS® Program.

Loan types
Women and Minority Subsidized Loan

Alternatives can now offer a subsidized loan for women and minority-owned businesses. This loan will assist women and minority borrowers who have a minimum of one year in business and are looking for assistance with continued growth and expansion.
Loan Information:

  • New loans only, no refinances
  • Term: Up to 5 years
  • Rate: 4% Fixed
  • Maximum Amount $50,000
  • Equity Requirement: 10% of loan amount (additional equity may be required)
  • Working Capital Loan
    Decisions relating to working capital and short term financing are referred to as working capital management. These involve managing the relationship between a firm's short-term assets and its short-term liabilities. The goal of Working Capital management is to ensure that the firm is able to continue its operations and that it has sufficient cash flow to satisfy both maturing short-term debt and upcoming operational expenses.   

    Line of Credit
    Cash flow is often an issue in business. Whether your need is inventory or funds for day-to-day operations, look towards a Line of Credit. Secured by business assets, the Line of Credit makes funds available when the need arises. Every small business and non-profit should have a Line of Credit in place for opportunities, emergencies or to cover inadvertent overdrafts.  

    Business Equipment Loan
    Need funds to purchase equipment, inventory and furniture or business assets? The Business Term Loan, secured by business assets, will enable you to borrow funds while at the same time setting up a budget payment that won't change every month.  

    Commercial Mortgage
    If you've found the perfect place to start or expand your business and you need to purchase or improve the property, Alternatives offers a Commercial Mortgage to meet your needs. We offer flexible repayment terms up to 15 years.  

    Share Secured Loans
    If you would rather not touch the money in your savings or certificate account, but need capital, consider a Share Secured Loan. Have money for business needs without losing interest on funds invested at Alternatives. Share Secured Loans are also a good way to build a credit record to support future borrowing.  

    Small Business Administration (SBA) Guaranteed Loan
    Minimal collateral, credit concerns, and higher risk business ideas can create problems when trying to get a loan. If this is your situation, we can offer you a solution. An SBA loan can be used for general business purposes, the purchase of assets or real property, and working capital.

    What we look for in a business loan applicant:
    Steady income sufficient to repay the loan and other obligations.

    • A good past credit history.
    • Sufficient collateral that is readily identifiable, with a wide market of resale.
    • Financials in line with or exceeding peers.
    • Owner equity in the business. 

    Often, a business cannot provide the level of information we request. In that case, we will review the loan with the information presented. If the information provided is not sufficient to grant the loan, we reserve the right to require additional information. The loan may be considered for approval on the basis of the owner(s) personal credit.  

    To provide a complete application, please enclose the following items:

    1. Three years financial statements and tax returns, as well as current (to within three months) financial statement (including income statements, balance sheets, and supporting schedules). Statements must follow Generally Accepted Accounting Principals.
    2. A Personal Financial Statement from each principal of the business.
    3. A description of any collateral offered or purchase receipts or price quotes for new equipment.
    4. Pro-forma projections month by month basis for two years or the length of the loan, whichever is less.
    5. Business plan detailing the structure of the business (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and ownership), a description of the product or service offered, the marketing strategy, an evaluation of the competition, a listing of trade references, and the names of the business principals.
    6. If the business is a corporation or partnership, include a copy of the certificate of incorporation or partnership papers, and a resolution from the Board of Directors or partners authorizing the loan request and designating who will sign loan papers.
    7. Personal guarantee(s) of the owner(s) of the business are required for each business loan. The requirement may be waived, for non-profit businesses only, at the discretion of the Credit Union. A personal guarantee demonstrates the signer's commitment to seeing the business succeed, and means that the principals are personally responsible for the loan payments. This guarantee is requested by other financial institutions as well, and is a legal requirement for credit unions.

    The Credit Union can provide resource materials on business planning and analysis, and we run a series of business seminars. For members with credit needs beyond our limits and terms we will do loans with the Small Business Administration (SBA) and can aid in placing loans with larger institutions.

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    Joe Nolan, Home Green Home

    My family's credit union has been Alternatives since '96; We liked the mission, and who could resist banking in a converted house? In 2005 I started thinking about a retail start-up called "Home Green Home" that would sell healthy and eco-conscious home furnishings and renovation supplies. The Business CENTS class helped me to understand and develop the elements of a business plan, and set me on the path to taking the big leap.

    At every stage, I've felt well supported by Alternatives' friendly staff. From one-on-one consultation to business banking and credit needs, I've received quick, helpful service at Alternatives. We always look to partner with organizations that share our values, and Alternatives fits the bill.

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