From the October 2005 issue of Entrepreneur

Colleen Molter's IT staffing business, QED National, borrows money to smooth out cash flow during rapid growth and also during times of tragedy--like when the World Trade Center attacks put many of her best customers out of business.

QED needed serious help to continue operations and rebuild after 9/11. With a mix of apprehension and relief, Molter signed up for an emergency loan of $300,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA offered an interest rate of just 4 percent for 15 years--and the money helped Molter keep all the staff of her New York City company onboard.

Since 2001, QED has grown at an average annual rate of about 33 percent and expects to reach $4 million in revenue this year. Its growth capital comes from a new asset-based loan against receivables. "Cash flow continues to be a struggle," Molter says. "Raising money is just always a part of your life."