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Small Business Loans in Tennessee (2021 Update)

There are roughly 500,000 small businesses in the state of Tennessee. Out of all these companies, 400,000 run on their own without the help of staff or employees. Entrepreneurial growth has increased over the past several years in America. It seems people are tired of working under a boss with a routine schedule and inadequate pay. Americans want to live the dream and own a company they can call all their own. Unfortunately, starting and establishing a company can be expensive, so this is where small business loans come into play.Small Business Loans in Tennessee

What is a Small Business Loan?

Unlike a personal loan, a small business loan is granted specifically to companies. It provides entrepreneurs with extra cash they can put towards the growth of their businesses. An owner might use the money to increase marketing and advertising to bring in new clientele. Others may need a loan because they want to expand on their company and offer different services or larger retail space. Before you take out a business loan, set yourself clear goals to know where that money will be spent. The last thing you want to do is have a lump sum of cash in front of you and start spending it frivolously.

Can Small Business Loans Bail Out a Failing Business?

Struggling entrepreneurs may use their loans to bail out and save their businesses. While this is another use for the loan money, it has to be done carefully. If your company should still fail even after obtaining the loan, you'll be fully responsible for paying it back in full as an individual. For failing businesses, there needs to be a solid strategy to get the company back up onto its feet.

Applying for a Loan

You'll need to find a reputable Tennessee bank or lender that gives out business loans to small companies in order to obtain one. Not all banks offer these types of loans and not every lender has the best rate. Diligent research is needed to find a bank that works for you. During the application process, the lender will assess your company's prospects, sales and expenditures. The business owner's credit score is a deciding factor within the approval process.

It takes about 45 days from start to finish to receive your money, if you are approved by your bank. If a lender does not approve your case, this doesn't mean that every bank thereafter will do the same. Try out a different lender and find the one that works well for you and takes you on as a client. Current interest rates on small business loans vary from 5.5 percent to 8.5 percent. Obviously, you'll want to get locked into the best rate to keep loan payments to a minimum. You can choose between variable interest loans and fixed rates. Check out the current SBA loan interest rates.

Banks in Tennessee That Offer Small Business Loans

Here are the best banks for small business loans in this state:

The First National Bank of Manchester

Established in 1900 in Manchester, The First national bank of Manchester has helped small businesses in the locale with loans amounting to $38 million in just one year.

Bank of Perry County

Formerly known as the Bank of Lobelville, its name was changed in 1975. The bank provides various loan products to individuals and businesses such as auto, home improvement, and small business loans.

First Volunteer Bank

Operating in Tennessee and Northwest Virginia, the First Volunteer Bank is very diverse in the sense that it accommodates the biggest chunk of the market possible through extensive banking products and services.

First Bank of Tennessee

The First Bank of Tennessee was founded in 1890 in Spring City. While it only originally the Rhea County, it has since expanded to offer its services to the rest of the state as well.

First Citizens National Bank

First Citizens National Bank is based in Dyers, Tennessee. Currently, it is headed by its President and CEO, Jeffrey Agee.

First Commerce Bank

Only founded in 2006, the First Commerce Bank has already managed to top SBA’s list for best banks for small business loans. In 2013, it loaned a total of $66 million to small businesses.


Top Cities in Tennessee and Their Lenders

Tennessee is one of the most famous states in North America. The area has a number of great cities that are perfect for starting new small businesses. Most of the area is also reasonably affordable, which makes it easier for new small business owners whom are trying to cut costs. If you want to start a business in any industry, there’s a chance that you’ll be successful in Tennessee. Several large companies in the United States have their headquarters in Tennessee – there’s plenty of opportunity to learn from the best in the region.

In this article, we’ll take a look at Tennessee’s top cities. We’ll also provide you with information on their lenders.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville has quickly grown into one of the nation’s most fascinating cities. It’s one of the fastest growing urban areas in the country – people are moving from around the nation to try and take advantage of the diverse and thriving economy. Services play a major role in the Nashville economy, but the entertainment sector is also huge in the city. Nashville is also home to some of the best learning institutions in the nation. Below are the best lenders in the area:

Synovus Bank

Synovus Bank is a bank that specializes in commercial lending. They have offices throughout the south to help their local customers get the funding they need for their businesses. If you want to work with a lender that has an understanding of Nashville, they’re a great choice. There isn’t a better business lender in the region!

First National Bank of Tennessee

Another great bank in Nashville is First National Bank of Tennessee. This lender has the ability to provide loans and lines of credit at almost any value. If you have large financing needs, why not give First National Bank of Tennessee a try? They have a great reputation and a local branch in the city.

Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis is another Tennessee city that is famous for being involved in the entertainment industry. Elvis Presley lived in Memphis prior to his death. You can still visit his home if you’re looking to take a walk through history. Memphis is home to some major companies, including the delivery company FedEx. Below are our favorite lenders in the city:

First Alliance Bank

First Alliance Bank is our top pick for the Memphis region. They’re a lender that has a great reputation for helping business owners of any size attain financing in Memphis. If you want a lender that can provide lines of credit, loans, and business credit cards to Memphis-based businesses, First Alliance Bank is great option.

Pathway Lending

Pathway Lending is a great nonprofit business lender that has been helping small business owners in Memphis for years. If you want to avoid the high eligibility requirements of traditional lenders, Pathway lending may be a good option. They work hard to provide their clients with the financing they need to grow their businesses.

Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville is the manufacturing capital of the state, although it has also been diversifying its offerings as the local economy changes. It’s another great place to start a new small business. Below is our favorite lender in the city:

BB&T is our top pick for Knoxville because of the amount of national experience they have lending to business owners throughout the country. They have an awesome ability to provide businesses with large loans to help them start or grow their operations. If you want to work with a business lender that understands a wide variety of industries, this is your best choice in Knoxville.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga has some of the best scenery in the state – you can find plenty of tourists in the city. Visitors bring money to the area, which helps spur on the local economy. If you’re thinking of starting a business in the area, check out our top lender below:

Atlantic Capital

Atlantic Capital is a specialty lender with a branch in Chattanooga. They have small business loans, small business credit cards, and other small business lending products that can help you take your company to the next level. They have an online portal that can be used to view the status and balance of your loans. They’re a great lender if you want someone that’s an expert in business.

Clarksville, Tennessee

Clarksville is the industrial capital of the state of Tennessee. It’s the best place to head if you want to start something in a heavy manufacturing a building industry. Below is our favorite lender in the Clarksville area:

F&M Bank

F&M Bank is a top lender in the Clarksville area. They have business banking and lending services for the city. They have a local branch in the heart of Clarksville. Another great benefit of using this bank is that they’ve just designed a new online portal that can be used to manage your finances and loans online.


Remember, some of these companies or banks are very specialized and may only handle SBA loans or a business line of credit. Ask them about any special programs for minorities or women. Also ask for information about business grants for startups if that interest you. If you bad credit don't worry as there still may be other alternative lenders willing to work with you.