Many people have heard of the Small Business Administration (SBA), but not everyone is aware of its significance or the impact it has had on small businesses. From mom-and-pop restaurants and retail shops to contractors and manufacturers, if you have ever searched for financing or credit options as a small business owner, then you most likely have come across the term “SBA loan.” For many reasons, SBA loans are a great choice for small businesses. However, SBA loans wouldn’t be possible without the Small Business Administration. So what is an SBA loan, and how does it benefit small businesses? Let’s start by discussing the agency that is responsible for creating the program.
What is the Small Business Administration?
The U.S. Small Business Administration was founded and established in 1953 as an independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, preserve free competitive enterprise and maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. Within the following year, the SBA started issuing direct business loans and guaranteeing bank loans to small businesses. Almost 25 years later, the Office of Advocacy was formed to further protect SBA programs and represent the views of small businesses within the federal government. Now, the SBA has at least one Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in each state with a network of over 900 service locations throughout the U.S. Through the SBA’s core lending programs, $44.8 billion in funding was delivered to small businesses in fiscal year 2021 through more than 61,000 loans.
What is an SBA loan?
Essentially, an SBA loan is financing for small businesses and entrepreneurs that range in size and can be used for a variety of purposes. The main difference between an SBA loan and a traditional business loan is that the financing is backed by the Small Business Administration, which reduces risk for lenders and makes it easier for small businesses to get the financing they need. In order to efficiently deliver these funds, the Small Business Administration works with a nationwide network of private lenders who have completed a rigorous certification process to participate in its lending programs. Currently, the SBA has three core programs: 7(a), 504 and microloans. By participating in these loan programs, private lenders can help provide small businesses with greater access to capital while reducing their risk in working with qualified entrepreneurs. Each program has its own lending practices, eligibility requirements, terms and conditions, as well as features, advantages and benefits for your business.
What are the benefits of an SBA Loan?
When it comes to financing, SBA Loans are a great option for small businesses seeking favorable repayment terms or in some cases may not qualify for a traditional business loan. Generally, SBA loans have lower rates and manageable fees compared to traditional business loans and offer unique benefits such as lower down payments, flexible overhead requirements and potentially no collateral. Depending on the type of financing you need, an SBA loan can be used for a variety of purposes, such as acquisitions, expansions, real estate, construction, equipment, inventory, partner buyouts, debt refinancing and more. Although it’s easier for a small business to qualify for an SBA loan, some programs have set restrictions on how you can use the funds and require you to provide extensive documentation during the application process, so it’s important to work with a trusted lender and experienced team who can provide personalized support and help match you with the right loan for your needs.
Grasshopper combines the best of banking technology and years of industry expertise to deliver personalized service with unmatched speed in the marketplace. With an established group of seasoned professionals who have decades of experience partnering with small businesses, our SBA lending team can devise effective financing structures to help you produce optimal results and grow your business with confidence. If you’re interested in learning more about our SBA lending program, we encourage you to connect with a team member today!
By Brana Webb in SBA Lending