Ask the Lender – What are SBA loans and how can they help?
There are many situations when we partner with the Small Business Administration to provide credit to the business community. The most popular program according to our customers is the SBA504 loan program. It allows a business to finance up to 90% of the cost of a project. The most attractive feature is that approximately half of the financing is eligible for a long term fixed rate of interest. The 504 program is very well suited to a real estate or equipment purchase along with construction projects.
Two other SBA programs we utilize are the 7A program and the SBA Express. The 7A program provides additional security to the bank due to the 75% guaranty the SBA provides. This allows a highly leveraged company to expand its operations while providing the bank with a guaranty thereby limiting any potential loss. The SBA Express program is very similar to the 7A program except it has a 50% guaranty and the maximum loan size is $350,000.00. The Express program has a streamlined paperwork process and is perfect for a lot of smaller companies.
One last program to mention is the State of Ohio 166 loan program. The 166 program is very similar to the SBA504, but it is administered through JobsOhio versus the Small Business Administration. The rates and fees are typically less than the SBA504 rates and fees. The only drawback is that the program is limited to manufacturing and warehousing operations. Retail businesses are not eligible to participate.
We highly recommend that every business evaluate all the available loan programs when making a fixed asset purchase or expansion. Many times the benefits of these programs far exceed the costs.
SBA Lending: Under the 7(a) program the SBA will guarantee up to $5mm or 75% of the loan amount, whichever is less. Under the SBA Express program the amount is $350,000 or less and up to 50% of the loan amount. Under the 504 program the SBA through a Certified Development Company (CDC) will fund up to $5mm with 50% financed by a bank, 40% by the CDC and 10% by the business.