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What You Need to Know About SBA Loans

November 18th, 2010 :: mhaubrich

By Maria Valdez Haubrich

Is your business looking for growth capital in a tight economy? A Small Business Administration (SBA) guaranteed loan could be the answer to your problems. The SBA doesn’t directly make loans to small companies, but it guarantees a certain percentage of a loan that is made by participating lenders. This guarantee makes lenders more willing to take a chance on your business.

In fiscal year 2010, demand for SBA loans grew, and so did the number and dollar volume of loans. The SBA guaranteed more than $22 billion (54,833 loans) in loans to small businesses, compared to more than $17 billion (47,897 loans) in fiscal year 2009.

Businesses that have a track record of success, are looking to grow and have collateral to put up against a loan are good candidates for SBA loans. Here’s a closer look at the types of loans available.

7(a) Loans: The SBA’s biggest loan program, 7(a) provides financing for a variety of purposes. Under the recently passed Small Business Jobs Act, limits for 7(a) loans increased to $5 million. Within the 7(a) program are these specialized loan programs:

  • Express Programs: These streamline the financing application process and include SBA Express, Community Express (for businesses in disadvantaged communities) and Patriot Express (for businesses owned by military veterans). The Small Business Jobs Act temporarily increased the cap on SBA Express loans from $350,000 to $1 million for one year.
  • Export Loan Programs: Programs to boost small-business exporting include the Export Working Capital Program, the International Trade Loan Program and Export Express. The Small Business Jobs Act raised the limit on Export Express loans to $500,000, and raised the cap on International Trade and Export Working Capital loans to $5 million.
  • Rural Lender Advantage Program: For companies outside major urban areas, this program streamlines the application process to help small rural lenders make loans.
  • Special Purpose Loans Program: This encompasses business loans for small businesses with a wide range of specialized needs.

CDC/504 Loan Program: Offers long-term financing to buy fixed assets such as equipment and real estate. Loans are made by nonprofit organizations called Certified Development Companies (CDCs). The Small Business Jobs Act boosted the cap on 504 loans to $5 million; for manufacturers and certain energy-related projects, the cap is $5.5 million.

To find out more about SBA loan programs and learn how to prepare to seek financing, visit the SBA website.

 DISCLAIMER: The information posted in this blog is provided for informational purposes. Legal information is not the same as legal advice — the application of law to an individual’s specific circumstances. The information presented here is not to be construed as legal or tax advice. Network Solutions recommends that you consult an attorney or tax consultant if you want professional assurance that the information posted, and your interpretation of it, is appropriate to your particular business.

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