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Small Business Financing

Financing Resources

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7(a) Small Business Loan

7(a) loans are the most basic and most used loan of the SBA's business loan programs. Its name comes from Section 7(a) of the Small Business Act, which authorizes the Agency to provide business loans to American small businesses.

For more detailed information, download a copy of Small Business Resource Magazine.

504 Loan Program

The 504 Loan Program is a long-term financing tool for economic development within a community. The 504 Program provides growing businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets, such as land and buildings.

For more detailed information, download a copy of Small Business Resource Magazine.

Equity Investment (SBIC) Program

The Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program was created in 1958 to fill the gap between the availability of venture capital and the needs of small businesses in start-up and growth situations.

For more detailed information, download a copy of Small Business Resource Magazine.

View the microlender map.

Microloan Program

Provides very small loans. Under this program, the SBA makes funds available to nonprofit, community-based lenders that, in turn, make loans to eligible borrowers in amounts up to a maximum of $35,000.

For more detailed information, download a copy of Small Business Resource Magazine.

SBA Express

SBAExpress is available to lenders as a way to obtain a guaranty on smaller loans up to $350,000. The program authorizes selected experienced lenders to use mostly their own forms, analysis and procedures to process, service and liquidate SBA guaranteed loans. The SBA guarantees up to 50 percent of an SBAExpress loan. Loans under $25,000 do not require collateral.

Like most 7(a) loans, maturities are usually five to seven years for working capital and up to 25 years for real estate or equipment. Revolving lines of credit are allowed for a maximum of seven years.

For a list of lenders in your area, contact your local SBA office available at:


CommunityExpress Pilot Loan Program

The CommunityExpress Pilot Loan Program provides streamlined business financing and management and technical
assistance to small businesses located in distressed or underserved markets. The CommunityExpress program is offered through hundreds of selected SBA lenders throughout the nation.

Under CommunityExpress, approved lenders may use streamlined and expedited loan review and approval procedures to process SBA-guaranteed loans. These lenders may thus use, to the maximum extent possible, their own loan analysis, loan procedures, and loan documentation to process SBA loans to $250,000. However, borrowers must receive technical assistance to qualify for this program.


The CAPLines program is designed to help small businesses meet their short-term and cyclical working capital needs. There are five loan programs under the CAPLines umbrella.

The programs can be used to finance seasonal working capital needs; finance the direct costs of performing certain construction, service and supply contracts; finance the direct cost associated with commercial and residential construction; finance operating capital by obtaining advances against existing inventory and accounts receivable; and consolidate short-term debt. SBA provides up to an 85 percent guarantee.

Export Working Capital Program

The SBA’s Export Working Capital Program assists lenders in meeting the needs of exporters seeking short-term export working capital. This program enables U.S. exporters to obtain loans to fund their direct export costs. The EWCP supports single transactions or revolving lines. The maximum dollar amount of an export line of credit under this program is $2 million. SBA guarantees up to 90% of a loan amount or $1.5 million, whichever is less. Loan maturities are generally for a term of 12 months.

The guaranty can be reissued for an additional 12 months through an abbreviated application process. The guaranty fee the SBA charges is 0.25 percent of the guaranteed amount of the loan for the initial 12 months. The borrower negotiates the interest rate and all other fees with the lender. The program offers flexible terms, low fees and a quick processing time.

For information visit http://www.sba.gov/services/financialassistance/sbaloantopics/SpecialPur...

International Trade Loan Program

The program helps small businesses engaged or preparing to engage in international trade as well as small businesses adversely affected by competition from imports.

This program allows for an increased maximum dollar amount of SBA guaranty outstanding to any one business (and affiliates) from $1.5 million to $1.75 million.

In order to reach the $1.75 million SBA guaranty ceiling, the borrower must have an international trade loan as well an SBA working capital loan or line of credit.

The international trade loan provides an SBA guarantee up to $1.5 million of a term loan used for the acquisition, construction, renovation, modernization, improvement or expansion of long-term fixed assets or the refinancing of an existing loan used for these same purposes.

In addition a borrower may have a separate working capital loan (term or line of credit) with a maximum SBA guaranty of $1.25 million. When combined, the maximum SBA guaranty outstanding to any one business is $1.75 million. The SBA guaranty fee and interest rates are the same as for any standard 7(a) loans.

Export Express

The Export Express program is designed to help SBA meet the export financing needs of small businesses.

It is a subprogram of SBAExpress and is therefore subject to the same loan processing, making, closing, servicing, and liquidation requirements as well as the same maturity terms, interest rates, and applicable fees as for other SBA loans except as noted below.

The total Export Express loan cannot exceed $250,000. SBA guarantees 85 percent for loans of $150,000 and under and 75 percent for loans over $150,000 to $250,000. SBA allows participating lenders to make their own credit decisions. SBA provides a quick processing time, less than 36 hours.

Surety Bond Guarantee Program

The Surety Bond Guarantee Program is a public-private partnership between the federal government and the surety
industry providing small businesses with the bonding assistance necessary for them to compete for government and private contracting opportunities.

The guarantee provides the necessary incentive for sureties to bond small businesses that would otherwise be unable to obtain bonding. The program is aimed at small businesses that lack the combination of working capital and performance track record necessary to secure bonding on a reasonable basis through regular commercial channels.

For more information on the Surety Bond Guarantee Program, visit SBA’s Web site at http://www.sba.gov/osg.

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