Here are tips that will help you finance your business in any credit environment.
Shop around. Don't give up because you got turned down by one type of lender. Try banks of all sizes, plus the Small Business Administration. You'll "find what is missing in your loan application that could be hindering you," says James Ballentine of the American Bankers Association.
Unleash Web 2.0. Social networking sites aren't just for musicians or college students. Some sites help businesses raise capital beyond an immediate circle of family and friends. One, Prosper.com, works like an online auction between prospective lenders and borrowers. Another, Lendingclub.com, lets you fill out a business profile and uses a search algorithm to match you with a lender.
Don't lose sight of fundamentals. Current economic conditions have a big impact but, says Kevin Reynolds of Cardinal Bank, "small businesses that have good business plans survive in good markets and bad markets."