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Loan-Packaging Help How do you show lenders you mean business? A professionally prepared loan package may help.

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For a decade, entrepreneur Jared Heyman steered clear of commercial lenders in favor of self-financing his Atlanta-based online market research firm, Infosurv Inc.; however, his company's rapid growth intensified his need for outside funds. Ready for expansion, Heyman recently set out to obtain financing at a time when many companies are feeling the pain of a tightening credit market. With lenders treading more cautiously in the uncertain economy, Heyman decided to enlist a local Small Business Development Center to help him assemble his loan package--which experts agree can make or break a financing deal.

Heyman's loan package effectively told the story of his company through financial statements, detailed projections and a thorough explanation of how the loan would be used. "The banks care less about the pitch and more about the numbers," says Heyman, 30. "It's a risk-averse [lending] climate right now, and banks want to see very strong numbers."

The extra planning paid off: Heyman's firm, whose client roster includes Fortune 500 companies and government agencies, successfully made its case for financing and was awarded a $240,000 line of credit. The company projects 2008 revenue will hit $3 million.

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