It’s official: The traditional lending industry has been turned on its head, and small business owners are no doubt the beneficiary. There are more ways than ever to secure flexible, appropriately-sized loans in real-time, and future-ready small business owners are capitalizing on this opportunity to proactively plan for growth. Are you one of them?

Here are the top 2019 financial trends expected to shape the business funding landscape this year.

2019 Financial Trend #1: Women business owners have increased options

If you’re a female business owner, there’s a 2019 financial trend to get excited about: this year, you could have more options than ever before for financing your dreams. Historically, these groups have faced negative stereotypes and misconceptions, and have had to fight much harder to win their fair share of the funding pie. Today in the U.S., woman-owned companies generate $1.7 trillion annually. To realize the full significance of that number, that’s an increase of more than 79% since 1997—yet the share of VC capital secured by women founders sits at a mere 2%.

To close this gap, a growing number of funds and programs are cropping up to help women entrepreneurs and other business owners who face a difficult funding landscape. The Small Business Administration has loans specifically designed to accommodate woman-owned business the funding they need. Female-led funds like Cowboy Ventures, Aspect Ventures and Cleo Capitals are also supporting women entrepreneurs in the male-dominated environment. This shift in many ways coincides with the movement toward impact investing, where a record $228 billion in 2018 was invested in businesses that aim to solve society’s critical challenges. Expect that number to continue climbing in 2019.

2019 Financial Trend #2: Startups are shaking up the scene

The lending industry has seen the arrival of a number of forward-thinking startups. These new players are capitalizing on the fact that up to 46% of Americans believe they can’t build their credit scores on comfortable terms through traditional banks. Options like Upstart, which look beyond just a credit score to determine lending decisions, and Fundera, which provides personalized advice on the appropriate SBA loan, are gaining traction. Other rising startups include Tala, GreenSky and Lendfriend, all of which seek to transform the often-frustrating lending process into a more convenient, customized experience. Consumers are expecting speed and simplicity, and these agile startups are delivering.

2019 Financial Trend #3: The economy will affect interest rates

We may not have a crystal ball, but we know that the state of the economy in 2019 will have a direct effect on interest rates. If the economy is on the upswing, we may see rates stabilize; yet the opposite also holds true in the case that the economy slows down. There are two significant ways that rising interest rates affect small businesses: 1) a higher cost of capital for small business borrowers 2) less disposable income in your customers’ pockets. But it’s not all gloom and doom. Rising interest rates also mean an enhanced economy and greater incentive to approve loans from a bank’s perspective.

Many economists predict that the U.S. economy will slow down in 2019, but far fewer are expecting it to move into recession territory. No matter the state of the American economy, it’s crucial for business owners to be educated on the best commercial financing options given their business type, market situation and economic forecasts. Staying on top of the 2019 financial trend is a good starting point. 

Ready to explore your funding options and fuel your most successful year yet? Reach out to Cornerstone Capital Lending to determine which loan program is best for you, both now and into your business’ future.