Simplified Procedures to Access SBA Loans
By SBA Press Office
WASHINGTON—Following the finalization of two new rules aimed at closing gaps in capital access for America’s small business owners, Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman, head of the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) and the voice for America’s 33 million small businesses in President Biden’s cabinet, announced streamlined lender procedures and other details on implementation.
“The Biden-Harris Administration recognizes that small businesses are the drivers of our economy, and that to participate in the opportunities created by the president’s Invest in America agenda, they need capital to start, grow, and be resilient,” said Administrator Guzman. “The modernization of SBA’s loan programs will help ensure that more borrowers can get funded through a broader network of lenders so they can help build a strengthened American economy that innovates, manufactures, and provides the products and services that make our lives better across Main Street.”
President Biden’s Invest in America agenda has paved the way for historic economic progress—over 12.7 million jobs created and a small business boom of 10.5 million new business applications in 2021 and 2022. At the same time, SBA recognizes that small businesses, particularly those owned by individuals in underserved communities who are highly entrepreneurial, face longstanding barriers in accessing capital needed to start or grow their businesses. To that end, building on the new rules, SBA announced its plans to:
Streamline eligibility determination of loans
To reduce the burden on SBA lenders and streamline operations, SBA will bring eligibility determination on SBA loans in-house through new technology starting August 1, 2023, which will ensure more lenders can focus on their customers and expand capacity to increase lending, especially small-dollar lending.
Add new fraud review on all loans
Building on President Biden’s commitment to root out fraud, the SBA will use advanced data analytics, third party data checks, and artificial intelligence tools for fraud review on all loans in the 7(a) and 504 Loan Programs prior to approval, starting August 1, 2023. To date, loan approval in these programs has largely been delegated to lenders, who approve loans based on SBA rules but without the agency checking for indicators of fraud upfront.
“These new changes are an important step toward ensuring that more small business owners have the opportunity to grow and succeed,” said Associate Administrator Patrick Kelley. “Building on controls deployed under the Biden-Harris Administration, SBA will safeguard taxpayer dollars, protect the integrity of our programs, and simplify the application process for both lenders and small business owners—a win-win for everyone.”
Also as part of the loan programs’ modernization, the SBA published:
These announcements build on SBA’s May 1 informational notice outlining steps for Community Advantage Pilot Program lenders to transition to a new, Community Advantage SBLC license. This change provides permanency in SBA lending for mission-driven organizations like Community Development Financial Institutions, or CDFIs, which have a track record of filling capital gaps in underserved communities.
The 7(a) and 504 loan programs are the most popular loan programs offered by SBA. The 7(a) Loan Program provides flexible financing options for a variety of business purposes, including capital and equipment purchases. The 504 Loan Program allows small businesses to finance fixed assets such as real estate, in addition to equipment. Both programs are designed to meet the needs of small business owners with low-cost and long-term capital. In Fiscal Year 2022, the two programs provided a combined $35 billion in capital to 57,000 American small businesses.
About the United States Small Business Administration (SBA)
The United States Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow, expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.
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