Academic Master

Business and Finance

SBA Loan Programs

In 1953, the SBA, or the United States Small Business Administration program, was launched to help Americans grow, start, or build their small business or sustain them. The SBS itself is not a loan donor agency but involves a commercial lending partner that the SBA facilitates by minimizing the risk for both borrowers and partners.

The SBA sets up eligibility guidelines, and only businesses with other financial access are eligible for the loan. For a small business, it is one of the best ways to grow, and SBA structures allow the lenders to offer them with low-interest rates and flexible terms, with a guarantee from a federal agency.

The SBA’s website offers several types of loans according to different business requirements. The most well-known is the 7(a) loan program. This is a general purpose lone and has multiple uses such as revolving funds, working capital, refinancing existing debt, equipment purchases, etc (Beesley, 2014). $5 million is the maximum that can be obtained as a loan through the 7(a) program, but no minimum amount. To repay the loan, the terms include amortization, maturity terms, and collateral. The interest rates are negotiated by the lending partner and the SBA, and the interest structure consists of two parts: an allowable spread and a base rate.

There are many types of small businesses that can benefit from an SBA loan. One of the programs includes a microloan. The maximum limit for this loan is 50,000 USD. These loans can be used to expand a business or cater to its smaller requirements, such as a purchase of furniture, equipment, machinery, fixtures, purchase of inventory, and supplies working capital. These microloans cannot be used to purchase real estate or repay a debt. The CDC/504, Real estate, and Equipment Loans are used for that purpose: to purchase real estate, improve a commercial property, convert, construct, or renovate property (Beesley, 2014). The SBA also offers disaster loans, which are basically low-interest loans that are lent for repairs or replacing destroyed or damaged assets, especially in a natural disaster. They can be given to homeowners or any type of business for up to 2 million USD. Other loan programs include the Community Express program, which is for businesses that need technical and financial assistance in serving communities that are underserved (Inc Staff, 2010). The SBDC in my area also offered an Express Program. This is a type of accelerated loan that can be lent within 36 hours of receiving an application. For these loans, the maximum guarantee required is 50 percent.

The SBA has provided loans to several mid-sized or small businesses besides offering contracts, counseling, and other assistance. It has been beneficial, but successfully obtaining one requires more effort. Small businesses have to put together all the paperwork necessary before approaching the lender, assemble and review all financial reports and credit history, and present a proper business plan.

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