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Business Loans for Grocery Store Owners

Grocery Store Business Loans

Running a grocery store can be an expensive proposition. These stores are indispensable, so you’ll always have business—but inventory, equipment, and other operating costs can pose a challenge. Managing the inventory is especially problematic since Covid-19. There are so many uncertainties, from potential meat shortages and rising costs to dramatic swings in customer behavior, there is just no way to firmly gauge inventory costs.

That’s especially true if you’re trying to grow your grocery business. Many grocery stores are in desperate need of additional staff. Others are expanding their current location to accommodate for social distancing.

Few grocery store owners will have enough cash on hand for the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of expenses involved in dealing with the economic uncertainties in today’s economic environment. Whether you need a business loan for your expanding payroll or one to cover social distancing construction costs we offer several types of financing that will help you run or grow your grocery business.

What Do I Need to Qualify?

Below is a list of the requirements to get approved for business funding with our most basic program. There may be additional factors that are considered, meeting these three requirements though gives you a very high chance of having your application approved.

 How Do I Apply?

Applying has never been easier. You can either call our toll free number 24 hours 7 days a week at
 (888) 882-6117
Submit your online application by clicking apply below and entering a few basic details about your business.

Small Business Loans

Whether you’re opening a new store, expanding one you already have, or otherwise growing your business, a small business term loan will help.

You can get a small business loan up to $1,000,000 from Shield Funding for expanding your grocery business. Use it to put a down payment on a new location. Or add a coffee shop to your existing store. Upgrade your equipment. Expand your offerings.

No matter what you use it for, that money will provide a kickstart for expansion.

And because you can get terms from 2–36 months, you can pay it back on a schedule that works for you. Rates range from 5–45% based on your credit and business financials, and you’ll need at least $8,000 in monthly revenues to qualify.

Bad Credit Small Business Loans

If you have less-than-stellar credit, getting a loan from a traditional provider (like a bank) is nearly impossible. But we offer unsecured business loans for bad credit to borrowers with credit of 500 or more. Just because you’ve made a few credit mistakes in your past doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to grow your grocery business.

Bad credit business loans range from 2–18 months with some options for longer terms, depending on your credit. And you’ll need to have been in business for at least two months. Rates range from 12–45%, depending on your circumstances.

Equipment Financing

Grocery store equipment is expensive, especially if you’re opening a new location. You may be looking at a bill of over $100,000. Even a small expansion can come with a hefty bill (a single refrigeration case might be $4,000 or more).

Equipment financing solves that problem. These loans are specifically for equipment. Because of their more limited use, you may get lower interest rates than you’d get with a term loan—many are under 10%.

There’s a downside to equipment financing loans, though: you often need to cover a down payment on the equipment. That payment can be as high as 20%. So if you’re opening a new location with $80,000 of equipment, you’ll need $16,000 in cash on hand.

That’s prohibitive for many grocery store owners. If you’re financing a small amount of equipment or you have a lot of cash on hand, it might not be a problem. But larger expansions might be better financed with a term loan. Shield Funding can help you secure a small business loan to purchase equipment without any need for a down payment or any upfront costs.

Business Line of Credit

Grocery stores have a lot of day-to-day expenses. With the high inventory turnover of the grocery business, you’ll be making a lot of food purchases. And because of the seasonal availability of certain products, you might find that you have a limited time to make a purchase that could be a big moneymaker.

Or you might have a refrigerator that breaks and needs to be fixed before your food goes bad. Maybe you’ll come across an advertising opportunity that you can’t pass up. There are all sorts of situations where you need cash quickly to deal with something.

Business lines of credit exist for that purpose. You can think of it a bit like a credit card. You put a purchase on your line of credit, pay interest on the balance, and pay it back with regular installments.

But unlike most credit cards, you can get a line of credit up to $250,000. And our rates are between 5 and 10%. That’s a much better deal than a standard business credit card.

You’ll need a credit score of at least 650 to qualify, and your business needs to make at least $10,000 per month. If you meet those conditions and you’ve been in business six months or more, you can qualify for a line of credit.

Merchant Cash Advance

merchant cash advance is a lot like a line of credit. You take a loan for up to $250,000 and pay it back in installments. But the difference is in how you pay it back.

Instead of regular transfers from your bank account, you pay a percentage of your credit card sales each month until the loan has been repaid. It’s a convenient way to pay back a loan.

You can also qualify for a merchant cash advance with a credit rating of 500, so the requirements aren’t as stringent as those for a business line of credit. You can get a cash advance after only two months in business and you only need $8,000 in monthly revenue.

You’ll get an interest rate of 24–49% and a term of between 2 and 12 months. This is a viable option for business owners with bad credit when you need cash fast (or don’t want to deal with the administrative hassle of paying back a regular loan).

Financing Tips For Your Grocery Store Growth

Every community needs a grocery store. And once you’ve been in business for a while, expansion and growth are natural goals. With all of the options above, we can help you find the right financing option for your store and here are just some of the ways business owners are utilizing funding to invest in their existing business.

Keeping Food Stocked

Putting food on the shelves of your grocery store is expensive, especially with rising meats and commodity prices. Getting started at a new location can cost $100,000 or more. Save-a-Lot estimates that initial inventory could be up to $200,000 or more. And that’s just to put food on the shelves.

Grocery stores also have high inventory turnover, so you’ll need enough cash on hand (or working credit, which we’ll discuss later) to make sure you can keep things in stock. Running out of inventory will damage your reputation quickly, and you don’t want to risk that.

Depending on the type of store you run and where you’re located, you may also have additional costs like beer and wine. And if you’re planning on stocking specialty foods like fancy cheeses, sushi, or local products, those costs could be higher.

Even if you’re not expanding to a new store, you can still pay tens of thousands for inventory to stock an expansion or an addition to your current grocery store.

Grocery Store Equipment

It might not be obvious, but grocery stores have significant equipment costs. Refrigeration, freezers, carts, point-of-sale systems, fixtures, and shelving are customer-facing costs. But you’ll also have backroom equipment, like a forklift, baler, handtrucks, and storage equipment.

Grocery Outlet estimates around $135,000 in equipment costs for a new grocery store. But that cost will fluctuate with the size of your store. If you’re expanding your current store, you probably won’t need that much. But a large new location could accrue even more cost.

Keep in mind that additional offerings mean additional equipment, too. If you have a deli, you’ll need more refrigeration, slicers, packages, scales, and so on. A bakery will require ovens and display cases. Depending on the state you live in, you may need a lockable section for beer and wine.

Payroll and Other Employee Costs

A small corner store might only have a handful of employees. A supermarket, on the other hand, may have 70 or more full-time employees, and that number is growing as a result of the pandemic impact on the nation. The number of people you employ is directly related to the size of your grocery store.

And while you may be tempted to hire fewer employees to save on costs, it’s worth noting that many retailers who spend more money on their employees are also very profitable.

Your store probably isn’t the only one your customers can shop at. Which means you need to provide a great customer experience. Long lines, trouble finding employees, and difficulty stocking shelves are going to make customers search for other options.

Finding the right number of employees is a balancing act. Especially when you’re expanding. It might take some time to get it right, but it’s one of the most important things you can do for creating a positive experience.

Of course, you need to pay for those employees. Full-time cashiers might make around $30,000 per year. Storeroom employees might cost you a little less. But managers might be closer to the $50,000 range.

Some states require that you offer benefits to full-time employees, too. When you add benefits and employment taxes, employees can cost 1.24 to 1.4 times their base salary. So that $30,000 cashier might cost you $42,000.

That all adds up.

Operating Costs

Every business has operating costs, but grocery stores have some unique issues. For example, utilities can be very expensive for a grocery store—up to $4 per square foot per year—because of high energy usage.

Refrigeration, lighting, air conditioning, cash registers, and other supermarket equipment can use a lot of energy. A 2,000-square-foot-store might incur an annual electric bill of $8,000. That’s a significant amount of cash.

Property taxes on a large building are expensive, too. And you’ll probably want to invest in marketing and advertising to drive business, especially if you’ve opened a new location or expanded your current store.

Many grocers are also starting to use more technology to boost their margins. Self-checkout lanes, scheduling software, store apps, and other advances cost money on a regular basis, and it’s important to account for those costs.

If you want additional information or would like to chat with us about how we can help you grow your business, give us a call!