How to Finance Your Business
Congress created the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in 1953 to
help America’s entrepreneurs form successful small enterprises. Today, SBA offices in every state offer financing,
training and advocacy for small firms. The Agency also works with thousands of lending, educational and training
institutions nationwide. Here are some of the better loan programs the SBA offers to help finance your business
7a Loan Guarantee: The 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program is one of
SBA’s primary lending programs. It provides loans to small businesses unable to secure financing on reasonable
terms through normal lending channels. The program operates through private-sector lenders that provide loans which
are, in turn, guaranteed by the SBA — the Agency has no funds for direct lending or grants.
LowDoc: Further streamlines the making of small business loans.
The maximum loan is $150,000. The calls for a response from the SBA within 36 hours of receiving a complete application.
Guaranty percent follows 7(a) policy. Once a small business borrower meets the lender’s requirements for credit,
the lender may request a guaranty from the SBA through SBALowDoc procedures. It’s a quick, two-step process:
Express: This program makes it easier and faster for lenders to
provide small business loans of $150,000 or less. It allows lenders to use their own forms and processes to approve
loans guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Express program provides a rapid response from
the SBA – within 36 hours of receiving your complete application.
Micro Loan: The Micro Loan Program provides very small loans to
start-up, newly established, or growing small business concerns. Under this program, SBA makes funds available
to nonprofit community based lenders (intermediaries) which, in turn, make loans to eligible borrowers in amounts
up to a maximum of $35,000. The average loan size is about $10,500. Applications are submitted to the local intermediary
and all credit decisions are made on the local level.