2004 Spring/Summer Volume No. 3

Need a Business Loan to Grow or Get Started?

John Camphouse
PolyJohn Enterprises Corporation

The SBA Is There to Help

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is funded by our tax dollars to provide four main areas of assistance to American Small Businesses. These are Advocacy, Management, Procurement, and Financial Assistance. Your business may be eligible for financial assistance through SBA’s Investment programs—the Business Loan Program the Disaster Loan Program, and/or Bonding for Contractors.

How to Get a Business Loan
In recent years, the SBA has streamlined its application procedures, making it easier than ever to apply and get the assistance you need.

If you have an existing business, you can speak to a lender in your area that makes SBA Loans (find a lender at www.sba.gov). The lender will want to see current financial statements, and tax returns. If you are seeking to start a new business, the lender will be expecting to see a carefully prepared business plan including a 12-month cash flow projection.

While the bank that handles your application is actually lending the money, the SBA guarantees the loans making it possible for banks to take risks on small or untried companies. Once your application has been approved by the lender, the SBA processing usually takes less than two weeks.

Some people may even be eligible to pre-qualify their business for an SBA loan. If you are a woman, minority, veteran, or rural borrower with excellent personal credit and you need less than $250,000, then you can go directly to your nearest SBA office to get started. The SBA can even help you find an expert to help you prepare your business plan and complete all the bank’s loan proposal requirements.

While no one is guaranteed a loan through the SBA programs, your chances for successfully procuring the capital you need is better through the SBA than through normal business bank channels. You can improve your chances even more by improving the quality of your application.

The bankers and SBA officials will be looking closely at your business. What’s more, as the owner of the business requesting a loan, they will assess your character, your established management ability, the amount of personal investment you are planning to make and the amount of collateral and working capital that you already possess. Marks against your application include previous bankruptcies and felony convictions. Parents behind on child support payments may not receive SBA loans until their obligations are up to date.

If you have never gone through this process, you can get free assistance through the SBA’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) network. Locate the office nearest you by going to www.sba.gov on the web, or by calling 1-800-U-ASK-SBA.

The SBA website is full of great information for small businesses. You can also learn more about their investment, disaster assistance, and contractor bonding programs.

Find Other Financial
Options located on www.polyjohn.com

Industry Info

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