Small Business Administration (SBA)

Whether you are an existing business, or just starting out, the SBA (Small Business Administration) should be one of your first sources to check for assistance.

Through a large variety of programs and services, the SBA can provide you and your business with technical and financial assistance, either directly from SBA, or via (certified) intermediaries.

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CDC 504 Loan Program

Provides long-term, fixed-rate financing to small businesses to acquire real estate or machinery or equipment for expansion or modernization. Typically, a 504 project includes a loan secured from a private-sector lender with a senior lien, a loan secured from a Certified Development Company (CDC) (funded by a 100 percent SBA-guaranteed debenture) with a junior lien covering up to 40 percent of the total cost, and a contribution of at least 10 percent equity from the borrower. The maximum SBA debenture generally is $5 million (and up to $5.5 million for manufacturers and certain energy related projects). NEW: Investments in energy efficiency (at least 10% savings) and renewable energies as public policy goals without job requirements!

7(a) Loan Guaranty Program

Serves as the SBA’s primary business loan program to help qualified small businesses obtain financing when they might not be eligible for business loans through normal lending channels. The SBA 7(a) is also the agency’s most flexible business loan program, since financing under this program can be guaranteed for a variety of general business purposes. Loan proceeds can be used for most sound business purposes including working capital, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, land and building (including purchase, renovation, and new construction), leasehold improvements, and debt refinancing (under special conditions). Loan maturity is up to 10 years for working capital and generally up to 25 years for fixed assets.

Microloan Program

Provides short-term loans of up to $50,000 to small businesses and not-for-profit child care centers for working capital or the purchase of inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery, and/or equipment. Proceeds cannot be used to pay existing debts or to purchase real estate. The SBA makes or guarantees a loan to an intermediary, who in turn, makes the microloan to the applicant. These organizations also provide management and technical assistance. The loans are not guaranteed by the SBA. The microloan program is available in selected locations in most states.

Disaster Loan Program

SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets.

Export Loan Programs

SBA has made it a priority to help small business exporters by providing a number of loan programs specifically designed to help develop or expand export activities.

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