Business Plan Information

Business Plan

All loans applications for $25,000 or more must include a full business plan as outlined in the loan application.  Applications for microloans (less than $25,000) must provide an executive summary, but may be asked for a complete business plan if determined by the Loan Committee Chair and Vice-Chair.

The business plan is an essential part of the evaluation process for consideration of a loan through the Economic Development Loan Fund. But it is also a guide as to operate the business and should be referred to regularly and modified as necessary. It is an extremely important tool for a business owner to evaluate strengths and weaknesses, areas of improvement, and financial objectives.

While a business plan is necessary for your application for a loan through the EDLF, a good business plan can also be used to attract additional funding sources such as banks and investors.

The business plan should be typed and include the following:

1.     Business Plan Summary. This summary should be brief, but include contact information, a business description, the purpose of your business plan, your product or service, critical factors to the success of the business, customers and market potential, and a financial snapshot.

2.     Business/Product/Services Description. The Business Description will give a thorough picture of your company including goals and objectives. Describe what your business does or what it will do. Include a company history, the current industry trends, why your company is unique, and short and long-term goals and objectives. Describe your product and service in understandable terms. Explain your product lines, offerings, equipment, materials, and suppliers. Indicate your legal business structure, such as a corporation, limited liability company, sole proprietor, or partnership. Explain why this team will  make it possible for you to reach your objectives

3.     The Market and Marketing Strategy. Give a detailed analysis of your market, who they are, where they come from, and their needs and interests, as well as the competition. Include sources of information. Describe your marketing strategy and how you intend to reach and capture your market through advertising or other means.

4.     Neighborhood/Human/Environmental (TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE) Impact. This section should describe how your business will or currently impacts the community, the environment, and people. How will your business create or retain jobs? What will your business do to improve the community? In addition to answering these questions, give an overall description of how your business contributes to the City.

5.     Management. Write a description of your management structure, who is on your team and the experience they bring. Include bios or resumes of key personnel. Attach resumes if possible and names of those on the Board of Directors if applicable.

6.     Current Financial Situation and Forecast. Give a detailed analysis of your current financial situation if you are an existing business. Be sure to include notes and explanations on any items that need clarification. All applicants must include:

a. Operating Profit and Loss Statements: If the business has been in operation for three years or more, three years of operating cash flow statements are required. If less than three years, submit every year of operation. A current interim statement less than 60 days old is also required for all businesses except start-up businesses.

b. Balance Sheet: If the business has been in operation for three years or more, three years of operating cash flow statements are required. If less than three years, submit every year of operation. Start-ups must generally submit a pro forma balance sheet for the first year of operation.

c. Pro Forma (3-year Projection of Income and expense): This statement shows projected profits and losses for the three years after the loan is granted.

7.     Financing Proposal. Indicate the dollar amount and describe the purpose of the loan you are seeking. Explain in detail how the sources and uses of funds will be used and how they will impact your business. If you are seeking any funds for working capital, be descriptive as to how those funds will be used.

8.     Future Plans. Now that you have given a clear picture of where you are and what you need, describe where you see your company in the future. Explain how all the components, from marketing to financing, will get you to that point.

9.     Other Considerations. As you write and assemble your business plan, you might want to consider including a table of contents and a list of references for any external information. Also include items you think explain your business such as menus, brochures, promotional materials or other items that will strengthen your financial position and the ability to borrow.