Marketing is essential for business growth –– but does not have to break the bank.
This month, we’ll explore six cost-effective strategies and tools to maximize your business’s marketing tactics without going overboard on your budget.

  1. DIY Branding and Print Materials:
    Use tools like Canva or Adobe Spark to design your brand’s visual elements, including logos, social media posts, and even business cards or flyers. Their user-friendly interfaces and affordable pricing make them a go-to tool for DIY branding.
  2. Explore User-Generated Content (UGC):
    Have customers create content featuring your products or services by encouraging them to post and tag you or your product on social media. User-generated content saves you time and effort on content creation and helps build a sense of community around your brand. You can even partner with influencers who specialize in UGC to outsource your content creation work.
  3. Collaborate with Other Businesses/Influencers:
    Partnering with other businesses or influencers can expand your reach without the need for expensive advertising. Be sure to look for collaborations that align with your business’s values and target audience so you can keep your brand consistent.
  4. Explore Community Engagement Opportunities:
    Participate in local events, markets, or pop-ups to engage with your community. These events provide excellent opportunities for networking and showcasing your products or services, often with lower costs of entry.
  5. Leverage Email Marketing:
    Build an email list of interested customers and send regular newsletters or promotional emails. Many free or affordable email marketing platforms are available, such as Mailchimp.
  6. Encourage Referral Programs:
    Embrace the benefits of word-of-mouth marketing! Encourage your existing customers to refer their friends and family to your business by offering incentives such as discounts or freebies. This can help generate new leads at a low cost.

With so many online and offline options and resources, marketing doesn’t have to be expensive. By leveraging these strategies and tools, you can effectively promote your business and reach your target audience at a more comfortable cost.


Last month, we asked Juan Guzman, a loan consultant here at Ascendus, for some advice when it comes to budgeting and applying for an Ascendus loan.  Here’s what else he had to say:

What items should small business owners have put together before they apply?

Before small businesses apply for a loan, I recommend the following:

  • Understand the need for the loan: the lender will be asking if the loan is for inventory, expansions, or cash flow.
  • Understand the lender’s requirement: Does my business meet the minimum requirements i.e., one year in business, time of operations?
  • Check your credit report: addressing concerns earlier will allow a smooth process, be prepared to provide supporting documentation, if necessary, i.e.  charge off, collections, etc.
  • Prepare up-to-date financials: have your business taxes and bank statements accessible as it may be required depending on the loan you are applying for.
  • Documentation: Gather all necessary documentation, business licenses, and legal documents to streamline the application process.
  • Only borrow what you need and can afford to repay: Avoid taking on too much debt that could strain your business.”

Thank you, Juan!

Stay tuned for more advice from our very own loan consultants in future newsletters.



“The Ascendus loan is what helped me do this; I wouldn’t be where I am without it. They gave me financial resources and support, and now I have been able to create a sustainable business model that makes a profit, and I’m growing.”

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Need a loan, line of credit, or just some personal finance coaching to help your business grow? Check out these products and resources designed for your needs.

Business Term Loan

For small business owners who need money to grow their business, Ascendus offers loans from $500 – $50,000. Qualified businesses will be located nationwide, except in Vermont.

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New Jersey Capital Access Fund

Borrow up to $150,000 at a fixed, competitive interest rate for the life of your loan. Available only to small businesses located in the state of New Jersey.

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CT Small Business Boost Fund

Supported by the Connecticut Department of Economic & Community Development, this fund links Connecticut small businesses and nonprofits to financial support.

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Childcare Business Development

Qualified Businesses can be found nationwide, excluding Vermont. If you have been in business for more than three years, you can access up to $25,000 in fast-track financing at the same interest rate within 48 hours. No paperwork is needed to apply.

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Rideshare Business Term Loan

Loans up to $15,000 in financing for rideshare businesses are offered at 13.99%.

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Business Line of Credit

Access a line of credit up to $25,000 in fast-track financing at a 13.99% interest rate.

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New York Forward Loan Fund 2.0

Up to $150,000 with a fixed interest rate for the life of the loan. Eligible to New York small businesses only.

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Entrepreneurs of Color Fund

Loans up to $250,000. Eligible to small business owners in any state, excluding Vermont. Must be 51% or more owned by an entrepreneur of color.

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“Get Ready” Business Line of Credit

No FICO minimum! This line of credit product is designed for African-American small business owners ready to improve their credit and invest in their businesses — $5,000 offered at 13.99%.

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Ascendus Credit Coaching

Free tailored credit coaching for all current clients who are interested in our “Get Ready” Loan product. Training sessions will include credit building, debt management tailored to long- and short-term goals, prioritizing debt repayment, budget assessment, and assessment for current credit-building programs.

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Register and Apply for PPP Forgiveness

PPP borrowers in default must be in compliance by March 3rd. Failure to comply will result in a referral to the U.S. Department of Treasury for collections with exuberant fees. PPP borrowers can avoid default and repercussions by completing the PPP forgiveness application.

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