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Nebraska Small Business Loans

If you either own a small business in Nebraska or are looking to start one, you’ll likely benefit from a small business loan. We’ve compiled all the relevant information to help take the headache out of finding Nebraska small business loans and grants, including helpful sites, statistics, and more.

Nebraska
Tetiana Sitiugina
Financial Sector Specialist and Content Strategist

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According to the current Small Business Administration statistics, the state of Nebraska counts 168,140 small businesses, which make up around 96.5% of all state-based businesses. During the last noted financial year, Nebraska lenders have issued 27,372 loans under $100,000, which totalled to approximately $440.1 million. Clearly, Nebraska is an excellent place for small business owners to expand their businesses.

Best Nebraska Small Business Loans

Center for Rural Affairs (CFRA)

Given that Nebraska spans over 76,000 miles, it’s no surprise that 35% of the state’s population live and work in rural areas. The Center for Rural Affairs offers several options for rural small business funding, including Small Business Loans and Express Loans.

A small business loan from CFRA can range between $1,000 to $250,000 and can be used as working capital, to purchase inventory or equipment, and for real estate. Express Loans of up to $15,000 are for those who’ve already borrowed from CFRA, as well as new borrowers. With these loans, the qualification is based on credit score and two personal bank statements, which allows for fast approval decisions.

In addition to Nebraska small business loans, CFRA offers one-on-one business counseling to local business owners in both English and Spanish.

First State Bank Nebraska

Agriculture plays a crucial role in Nebraska’s economy. First State Bank Nebraska offers a variety of competitive agricultural lending solutions to local small agribusinesses and farmers, including:

  • Crop and livestock operating loans. Flexible and competitively-priced, these loans can be used to finance crop input expenses, feed expenses, or livestock purchases.
  • Term loans. Term loans from First State come with flexible payment terms and fixed interest rates. The funds can be used to finance machinery and equipment or purchase or upgrade agricultural facilities.
  • FSA loans. First State also works with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) to issue credit to family ranchers and farmers.

i3 Bank

If you live or work in Douglas, Saunders, or Lancaster counties, i3 Bank, formerly known as the Bank of Bennington, may be able to help you. It offers small business loans with repayments spread out between one and four years.

I3 Bank specializes in loans for agricultural businesses, so it’s another viable option for a good chunk of the state’s population. If you don’t live in one of the three counties mentioned above, you can still apply as long as your business is registered in one of them.

This is also a good option for those who need a loan fast, as applications can be quick, either online or in-branch, and are sometimes awarded the next business day after approval

Summary Table

Provider Loan Type(s) Suitable for:
Center for Rural Affairs Small Business, $1,000 to $250,000
Express, up to $15,000
Any small business, for a variety of uses
First State Bank Nebraska Crop and livestock operating loans, amounts vary
Term loans, amounts vary
FSA loans, amounts vary
Small agribusinesses and farmers in Nebraska
i3 Bank Small Business (specializing in agricultural businesses), amounts vary Any small business registered in Douglas, Saunders, or Lancaster

Top Online Nebraska Small Business Loan Options

The good news is that there are more than just Nebraska small business grants available, with many organizations offering loans at both the national and online levels.

1.Fundbox

Founded in 2013, Fundbox is now a trusted alternative lender offering viable small business funding solutions to entrepreneurs in Nebraska and beyond. The two types of loans available are business term loans and revolving lines of credit.
Pros
Automated application process
Fast turnaround
Low minimum credit score requirements
No monthly limits
No additional fees
Can set up automatic loan payments
Cons
Loan limits aren’t very high
Interest rates can be high


With both types of small business loans from Fundbox, you can borrow up to $150,000. With a business term loan, the funds must be repaid over 24 or 52 weeks, with an APR of 18%. A revolving line of credit, on the other hand, comes with a term ranging from 12 to 24 weeks and an APR of 20%.

While Fundbox loan limits are rather low and interest rates are rather high, you can expect to receive a much better deal should you become a repeat customer.

The Bottom Line

If you are planning to apply for several business term loans or lines of credit, Fundbox is a great alternative lender to consider. While the initial loan terms and rates might not be the most competitive on the market, you can expect to enjoy longer terms and lower interest rates as you keep borrowing from this lender.

2. Fundera

Fundera is an independent company that helps small business owners find a loan that’s best for their needs. The lender has been around since 2013 and has helped over 35,000 businesses so far.
Pros
Connections to numerous lenders
Lots of loan types to choose from
Attractive interest rates starting at 6%
Soft credit check upon application review
Cons
Fund disbursement can take up to 3 weeks
Qualification criteria are difficult to find


When you apply for small business funding through Fundera, you will be automatically connected to multiple lenders offering the following types of loans:

  • Microloans
  • Business term loans
  • SBA loans
  • Business lines of credit
  • Invoice factoring
  • Merchant cash advances
  • Equipment financing
  • Commercial real estate loans

Because Fundera connects applicants to such a broad range of lenders, the corresponding loan features can vary significantly. The good news is that you can truly shop around for the best deal and get a Nebraska small business loan with interest rates starting at 6%.

The most attractive loan options are, without a doubt, SBA loans. Here, you can borrow up to $2 million for up to 30 years. In addition, SBA loan APR starts at only 2.75%.

The Bottom Line

Being a loan marketplace, Fundera offers a great selection of business loan products with a variety of terms, rates, and borrowing amounts. So, when applying for a small business loan through Fundera, you can be sure to find just the right funding option for your business needs.

3.Fora Financial

Fora Financial is a reliable online lender offering term loans and merchant cash advances to small businesses ever since 2008. One great thing about loan products from Fora Financial is that they are available to applicants from a variety of industries. In addition, the funds can be used for virtually any business purpose you need.
Pros
Funds available to a variety of industries
Money is disbursed within 24-72 hours
Credit score isn’t important for approval
Cons
Late payment and origination fees
High interest rates in some cases


With both short-term loans and merchant cash advances from Fora Financial, you can borrow from $5,000 to $500,000. In both cases, you can also expect a factor interest rate ranging from 1.1 to 1.3.

While short term loans must be repaid over 4 to 15 months, merchant cash advances are much more flexible. With this form of funding, there is no predetermined repayment period. Instead, you will pay off the loan gradually from your future credit card sales.

The Bottom Line

If you need a short-term loan or a merchant cash advance within a matter of days, Fora Financial is an excellent choice for you. With this alternative lender, you can receive up to $500,000, as quickly as in 24 hours.

4.Credibly

Credibly offers seven types of small business loans: lines of credit, working capital loans, merchant cash advances, longer-term business expansion loans (up to 10 years), equipment financing, SBA loans, and invoice factoring loans. Working capital loans are among the most popular types of loans. It takes the form of an unsecured personal loan that allows you to borrow money for any purpose, including paying off your existing debt, buying new equipment, or making improvements to your business.
Pros
Simple online application process
High borrowing limits
Flexible qualification criteria
Several types of loans available
Friendly customer service representatives
Applicants from high-risk industries welcome
Cons
Daily or weekly repayments for some products
Loans come with origination fees
Interest rates can be high


Credibly believes that small business owners deserve access to small business loans no matter their credit score. Because of this, the lender offers loans that are easy to qualify for and require a low credit score of only 500.

Depending on the loan type, features may vary. There are several different kinds of loans available, including working capital loans, which can range up to $400,000; and business expansion loans, which can range from $150,000 to $5 million.

Repayment terms vary depending on the type of loan as well. Short-term working capital loans usually require repayment within six to eighteen months, while longer-term business expansion loans can take up to three to ten years.

The Bottom Line

If you're looking to borrow from an online lender that offers multiple Nebraska small business loans, Credibly is a reliable option. The lender has flexible eligibility criteria, a fast application process, and a seamless funding procedure that qualifying borrowers can benefit from.

Nebraska Small Business Grant and Additional Financial Resources

Aside from the above organizations and companies, Nebraskans can also turn to their state government for possible small business aid. Depending on what your company does or plans to do, you may be able to apply for one of the following:

Nebraska Academic Research and Development Grant

The Nebraska Academic Research and Development Grant program offers local businesses a matching grant for research and development activities performed in collaboration with a Nebraska university or college.

Any for-profit business that operates in Nebraska is welcome to apply; eligible matching funds include any non-state source like local or federal governments, private foundations, investors, commercial lending institutions, and more.

Nebraska Innovation Fund (NIF) Prototype Grant

The NIF Prototype Grant presents a matching program that offers financial support for new product development for Nebraska-based businesses. While the Prototype Grant is highly competitive, the Department of Economic Development can help applicants better understand the requirements and submit the strongest application possible.

The grant amount can reach up to $150,000 per project, which must be used towards the development of a specific product. Eligible costs include prototype materials, employee wages, and limited tooling and equipment costs.

Nebraska Seed Investment Program

The Nebraska Seed Investment Program offers up to $500,000 to early-stage businesses to be used in product and service development. These awards take the form of matching equity investments. These investments are held by the nonprofit 501(c)3 partner of the Department of Economic Development, Invest Nebraska.

The investments can reach up to $500,000 per project and must be used for the commercialization of a process or prototype. Applicants must operate a business in Nebraska and be able to provide matching funds equal to 100% of the investment amount.

Nebraska Small Business Innovation Research / Small Business Tech Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Grant Program

The Nebraska SBIR/STTR Grant initiative is a matching grant intended to support Nebraska small businesses that have received a Federal STTR or SBIR grant. The grant can reach $4 million per year, depending on the demand and current DED’s budget and available funds.

In order to apply for the Nebraska SBIR/STTR Grant, you must meet the qualification requirements associated with the federal SBIR/STTR program. In addition, you must run a for-profit small business that conducts at least 51% of its activities in the state of Nebraska.

Other Resources for Nebraska Small Businesses

Without a doubt, obtaining business financing is important. However, if you aren’t familiar with running a business, receiving a Nebraska small business loan won’t help you succeed. Luckily, financial aid isn’t the only resource available to small businesses in Nebraska.

Nebraska’s SCORE

If you do even a little bit of extra digging, you’ll soon find that many organizations are set up to help small businesses have ties with the SBA. Nebraska’s SCORE is one such organization, albeit one working at a state level. The organization has seven branches across the Nebraska state, all of which offer the following services:

  • Business advice. The organization offers free, professional, and confidential business advice no matter what level you are at. This advice comes from specialist advisors, who also double as mentors, and is available in-person and online.
  • Business workshops. SCORE also provides low (or no) cost workshops on various business topics, such as marketing, accounting, and more.
  • Business tools. You can also access a massive library of online business resources for free, including guides and templates.
  • Volunteer program. Whether you need help with your business or want to get an idea of what running one is like, SCORE has a volunteer program. Whether you’re a seasoned entrepreneur or looking for sound advice from someone who knows what it’s like to run a small business, there are plenty of people available to help you out at no cost.

How to Prepare for a Nebraska Small Business Loan

Whether your business has been on the go for a while or you’re just starting up, there are a few key points to keep in mind. Aside from making use of free services like SCORE, it’s vital you do the following before you apply for a loan:

  1. Have a business plan. Most lenders require a traditional, in-depth plan, but some may be happy with a Lean Startup Plan (key points only).
  2. Research which grants are suitable for your particular business needs.
  3. Ensure you have all the relevant documents in order before applying for a loan. If you forget something or complete a form incorrectly, this will reflect badly on your organizational skills and delay the loan process.
  4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you’re unsure about how to word a grant application, or even if you fully meet the requirements, SCORE and the SBA both have plenty of free resources online
  5. Be prepared to face rejection. You may not want to hear it, but there’s always a chance a funding body declines your application. If this happens, don’t panic. Always have at least a second option in mind in case you need to try a different lender.

The Bottom Line

If you are running a small business in the state of Nebraska, you have plenty of small business loan options available at your disposal. From conventional banks to online lenders, to state-run grant programs, you can find the perfect financial support to meet your business needs.

About the Author

Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk

Tetiana Sitiugina-Babiuk

Financial Sector Specialist and Content Strategist

Independent writer, content strategist, and financial sector specialist. Tatiana has an extensive experience in working with financial institutions such as Bank of Canada and Risk Management unit at FinDev Canada. She holds an MA in Financial Risk Management from the University of Toronto.

More about me

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