Small business owners are the backbone of the American economy — both local and national — and are the heart of the community they are based in. The 30.2 million small businesses in the United States employ 58.9 million people, or 47.5% of the private workforce. Yet, occasionally, small business owners are taken advantage of by shady financial loans and processes that cause these small companies to go out of business. To combat these predatory practices, the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights was created by the Responsible Business Lending Coalition (RBLC), which is a network of broker, small business advocates, and lenders. Companies in the RBLC include: Accion, Aspen Institute, Community Investment Management, Funding Circle, Lending Club, Opportunity Fund, and Small Business Majority. These companies, and all other RBLC participants, are dedicated to supporting new ways companies can lend to small businesses in a way that is reachable.
RBLC is also concerned about negative lenders who take advantage of small business owners. Together, the coalition developed the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights to encourage trustworthiness in the lending community and work against detrimental lending practices. Since its inception, almost 60 lenders and bankers specializing in small business financial resources agreed to adhere to these rights. Additionally, over 30 small business advocacy and support agencies have affirmed the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights.
What is the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights?
Following is a copy of the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights in its entirety.
The Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights identifies six fundamental rights that all small business owners seeking financing deserve:
- The Right to Transparent Pricing and Terms: A borrower has the right to have the cost and terms of any financing being offered presented to them in writing and in a form that is clear, complete, and easy to compare with other financing options, so they can make the best decision for their business.
- The Right to Non-Abusive Products: A borrower has the right to expect that the financing products offered by a lender will not trap his/her business in an expensive cycle of re-borrowing.
- The Right to Responsible Underwriting: A borrower has the right to expect a lender is offering financing based on underwriting practices that assess the ability of the borrower’s business to succeed and repay.
- The Right to Fair Treatment from Brokers: A borrower has the right to honest, transparent, and impartial communications with a broker regarding loan options, conflicts of interest, fees, and the financing options available.
- The Right to Inclusive Credit Access: A borrower has the right to fair and equal treatment when seeking a loan including protections guaranteed under the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.
- The Right to Fair Collections Practices: A borrower has the right to be treated fairly and respectfully throughout a collections process and the right to protections like those guaranteed under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Since 2014, Imperial Advance has been dedicated to the highest standards and business principles in all our interactions with our clients. We are committed to maintaining our A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and offer small business owners a range of alternative financing solutions including Merchant Cash Advances, Small Business Financing Solutions, Bad Credit Funding and more.