Wednesday, June 25, 2008

New initiative for rural development issued by SBA

The U.S. Small Business Administration thas extended a rural economic-development program to Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri, reports the Springfield Business Journal. The initiative is intended to make it easier for smaller community banks and credit unions to use SBA loans products to finance small businesses.

"Companies throughout America, especially rural America, rely on community banks to finance their growth, and rural small businesses often need strong relationship support, which small community banks are qualified to provide," said Jovita Carranza, SBA deputy administrator. "We are committed to expanding access to private capital for rural entrepreneurs by becoming a better partner for America's community banks."

According to a news release from the SBA, the key features of the plan include: A shorter, simplified application for loans of of $350,000 or less; An expedited SBA loan processing time of 3-5 days for routine loans; Only limited, key financial documentation is required; An SBA guaranty of 85 percent is available for loans of $150,000 or less; 75 percent if the loan is larger; Loan applications may be faxed or e-mailed to SBA; A simplified loan eligibility questionnaire is provided to help small or occasional SBA lenders understand SBA’s eligibility criteria; and SBA provides specialized assistance to small/rural lenders on complex eligibility issues.

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