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Many people who are starting their first small business find their options limited by the regulations of big banks and the credit requirements of other agencies. Luckily, aid can come in the form of federal small business loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA).
The SBA is a division of the federal government that has been around since 1953 for the purpose of aiding various entrepreneurs in need of difficult-to-find business financing. The policies and programs of the SBA have grown greatly over the latter half of the twentieth century, and now have a portfolio that includes 219,000 loans and is worth $45 billion, making the SBA the single largest guarantor of loans in the United States. The SBA is well known for their programs for women, minorities, veterans and the disabled, however it has a number of Microloan programs that offer federal small business loans to nearly anyone.
While the SBA has been under some attack in the past decade, the recent government stimulus package has made the availability of federal small business loans once again much more available to the public. The stimulus package was targeted partially at the restoration of the SBA’s infrastructure and the financing of new Microloan programs, which provide loans in the amount of $35,000 or less. While this may sound like an amount that is too small for your business needs, remember that muliple loans can be applied for, and if done within the same two week period, your credit will not be adversely affected.
For more information, check out www.sba.gov. The SBA does not have its own branches and uses lending agencies to provide them. Check with your local bank to see if they offer SBA programs. And good luck with your financing endeavors!