Whether starting a business or trying to expand an existing business, there is often a need for additional funding. The Small Business Administration has a number of programs available for small businesses to borrow money. Are you an entrepreneur in the making? If so, here's some helpful information to know:Photo by jferzoco

7(a) Loan Guaranty Program

For loans up to $2,000,000, the 7(a) program includes several different types of loans. These loans are very flexible since they can be used for starting a business or expanding an existing business and are funded by commercial lenders. Possible uses for a 7(a) Loan might include working capital, new furniture or fixtures, renovation or improvements to buildings, machinery or equipment, land and building purchases or leases, and sometimes refinancing of business debt.

Some of the loans under this program include Express Programs, Rural Lender Advantage Programs, Export Loan Programs and Special Purpose Loan Programs.

Loan maturity for 7(a) loan programs is up to 10 years if used as working capital for the business or up to 25 years if used for fixed assets.


For qualified new businesses needing start-up capital, or an existing business needing funds to grow, the SBA Microloan Program provides loans up to $35,000 through nonprofit lenders in the business's community. Microloans are short-term, and are usually used for not-for-profit child care centers or to finance small business concerns such as inventory, training or necessary equipment expenses. The average amount of SBA microloans is around $13,000. Microloans cannot be used to pay off other business debts or to buy real estate.

Disaster Recovery Loan Program

If your business is located in an area declared as a "disaster area", you could be eligible for a Disaster Recovery Loan. These programs are sometimes even offered by the SBA to people who don't own businesses if a homeowner, renter or personal property owner experienced losses due to natural disasters.

Homeowner and Renter Disaster Loans - there are personal property loans up to $40,000 to help repair or replace damaged personal property such as clothing, cars, furniture or electronics. Homeowners may also apply for loans up to $200,000 to replace or repair the home itself.
Business Disaster Loans - up to $2 million that can be used to repair or replace any real property owned by the business. There are also Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs for businesses up to $2 million to help businesses that suffer economic injury, even if no physical damage has been caused.