Lending programs offered by the Small Business Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture are designed to help small businesses, rural communities, and not-for-profits obtain access to capital. This encourages greater economic vitality in the U.S. economy and small local communities. Utilizing these programs requires specialized knowledge of the rules and processes. This is why we partner with lenders to underwrite and process these loans on their behalf.
The SBA 7(a) loan program is the SBA’s most-used loan program and a key tool for community lenders. The SBA 7(a) is a loan guarantee program, meaning a bank loans the funds to qualified applicants and the SBA guarantees a large portion of a loan, mitigating much of the risk for lenders and providing small business borrowers with access to needed capital.
Key features of the 7(a) loan program:
For more information, visit SBA General Small Business Loans: 7(a).
SBA Express loans are smaller loans with an accelerated time for SBA review. The SBA responds to the loan application within 36 hours.
The CDC/504 loan program provides financing for major fixed assets such as equipment or real estate. The 504 program differs from the 7(a) program in that it is a loan participation program, with the SBA providing part of the loan funds. A key characteristic of the program is long-term, fixed rate financing for the SBA portion of the loan. Proceeds can be used for:
For more information, visit SBA Real Estate and Equipment Loans: CDC/504
CAPLines is an umbrella program featuring four lines that helps small businesses meet their short-term and cyclical working-capital needs.
For more information, visit SBA CAPLines.
The SBA has several programs available to help small businesses that develop or expand trade and export activities. Ninety-seven percent of all exporters are small businesses!
For more information, visit SBA Export Loan Programs.
A borrower located in a rural community may qualify for special financing through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The (B&I) Guaranteed loan program provides guarantees of up to 80% of a loan made by a commercial lender. Proceeds for a B&I loan can be used for:
For more information, visit USDA Business & Industry Loans.
This temporary program was created by the CARES Act to help rural businesses and ag production facilities with working capital loans that cover costs to prevent, prepare, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The loans offer a 90% loan guarantee and repayment terms up to 10 years. Loan principal payments may be deferred for up to three years from the loan closing.
For more information, visit USDA B&I CARES Act Program.
Essential community infrastructure is key in ensuring rural areas enjoy the same basic quality of life and services enjoyed by those in urban areas. Community facilities programs offer direct loans, loan guarantees, and grants to develop or improve essential public services and facilities in communities across rural America. These amenities help increase the competitiveness of rural communities in attracting and retaining businesses that provide employment and services for their residents.
For more information, visit USDA Community Facilities Programs.
This program provides funding through grants, direct loans, and guaranteed loans for clean and reliable drinking water systems, sanitary sewage disposal, sanitary solid waste disposal, and storm water drainage to households and businesses in eligible rural areas.
This program provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements.
Funds may be used for renewable energy systems, such as:
Funds may also be used for energy efficiency improvements to things such as HVAC systems, insulation, lighting, cooling and refrigeration, doors and windows, and equipment.
These programs provide direct loans and loan guarantees to increase the supply of affordable rental housing for low- and moderate-income individuals and families in eligible rural areas and towns. Complexes may contain units that are detached, semi-detached, row houses, or multi-family structures.