When the roof caved in last year at Shelley Simon’s Station 4 restaurant in northwestern Ontario, she knew she had to move to another location — and fast.

She also knew she’d unlikely be able to get her bank to lend her the money to finance it.

Fortunately, by turning to alternative financing, Shelley was able to not only quickly access funds for the move, but also afford the upfront labour costs of extending the hours of operation of her third restaurant in Thunder Bay, The Scandinavian Home.

Alternative financing refers to financial channels and instruments that have emerged outside the traditional finance system, or are offered in collaboration with banks.

“We use proprietary technology to make lending decisions based on how well a business is managed rather than just the owner’s personal financial and credit information,” says Jeff Mitelman, CEO at Thinking Capital, a leader in the Canadian fintech industry with offices in Montreal and Toronto. “This innovative, technology-driven approach means small business owners, like Shelley, have a much greater chance of securing financing when they need it and fast.”

Managing cash-flow challenges

Managing cash flow while keeping up with customer demand or the competition can be a big challenge for small to medium-sized business (SMB) owners, especially with seasonal changes, local events, or big holidays. For example, owners might need to increase staffing, invest in updated equipment, expand their facilities, boost their marketing, or face an emergency as Shelley did.

Gaining access to small business loans from traditional banks typically requires a personal guarantor or personal collateral in the form of a home or other assets, along with a solid history of high personal credit scores. With restaurants in particular, “I think it is very hard to get a loan from traditional banks because the ratio of restaurants closing all the time is not up to their standards,” says Shelley. Add in the long wait and approval times and SMBs can have a hard time maintaining or growing their business.

Helping Canadian small businesses access credit

Thinking Capital is reinventing the way small businesses access credit. By combining industry experts and technology, Thinking Capital is transforming the opportunity for business owners to obtain capital to ultimately grow their business through speed and convenience.

The firm offers two products — Flexible Financing and Fixed Financing. Flexible Financing offers a financing solution that aligns with the cash flow of a business with no payback time restrictions on the payment schedule. That way small business owners can plan financing that works best for them. Alternatively, through Fixed Financing, small business owners also have the option to pay back loans within a set time period.

While interest rates for these types of loans could be higher than those from a traditional lender, they are still quite competitive when compared to other business loans and credit cards used by business owners as an alternative to bank loans — and faster to obtain. Through a simple online application process, applicants can get a no-obligation quote within minutes and funding in as little as 24 hours.

Alternative financing offers more options to SMBs

When evaluating the best options available, here are some things to consider about Thinking Capital’s Flexible Financing or Fixed Financing products:

  • It’s an option even if personal credit is a challenge.
  • It’s fast and convenient.
  • Thinking Capital is trusted by over 10,000 SMBs across Canada.
  • Thinking Capital partners with well-known companies such as CIBC, Staples, Moneris, The UPS Store, and Money Mart.
  • Thinking Capital is a Canadian business focused only on meeting the needs of Canadian SMBs.