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Office of Capital Access | Resources

Community Express

In October 2008, SBA introduced the newly restructured and enhanced Community Express Pilot Loan program. Approved SBA lenders are authorized to adopt SBA's most streamlined and expedited loan procedures to provide a unique combination of financial and technical assistance to borrowers located in the nation's underserved communities.

SBA has clarified the communities that are eligible; generally, these include SBA's Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZones) and those communities identified as distressed through the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA).

To encourage small businesses start-ups, SBA makes eligible loans of $25,000 or less for Community Express, regardless of where small businesses are located.

Technical Assistance (T/A) is a critical component in the success of the small business entrepreneur, and remains a key requirement under Community Express. Lenders must ensure that each Community Express borrower receives appropriate T/A, and document in their loan file that appropriate assistance was provided. While lenders are not required to refer borrowers to SBA's services, they have the option of using SBA's Small Business Training Network (SBTN) as well as SBA's Resource Partners, such as Small Business Development Centers, SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), Women's Business Centers, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers.

About the Program
Maximum Loan Amount: $250,000
Maximum SBA Guarantee %: Follows standard SBA 7(a) guarantee percentages.
Interest Rate: Standard SBA rates apply: Lenders may charge up to prime plus 2.25% for maturities under seven years and prime plus 2.75% for maturities of seven years or more, with rates 2% higher for loans of $25,000 or less and 1% higher for loans between $25,000 and $50,000.
Eligibility Decision: By SBA.
Revolving Lines of Credit: Allows revolving loans up to seven years.
SBA Turnaround Time: Mostly within 36 hours.
Forms: Lender primarily uses own forms and procedures; plus SBA Form 1919, Borrower Information.
Collateral: Lenders are not required to take collateral for loans up to $25,000; may use their existing collateral policy for loans from $25,000 to $250,000.
Credit Decision: By lender.
Technical Assistance: Lender must ensure borrower receives appropriate technical assistance; may use SBA's Small Business Training Network (SBTN) and/or Resource Partners to fulfill requirements; lender must document provision of assistance in loan file.


Eligibility

Generally, lenders must demonstrate that they:

  • Can effectively process, close, service, and liquidate SBA loans;

  • Have a history of acceptable currency, default rates, and loss rates;

  • Are in compliance with applicable SBA Loan Program requirements;

  • Have received a satisfactory review/examination from OCRM;  

  • Have been current in filing SBA required 1502 reports and in remitting required guaranty and servicing fees;

  • Have at least an 85 percent currency rate on its SBA 7(a) loan portfolio for the last three complete fiscal years;  

  • Are in good standing with their federal/state oversight authorities;

  • Are not subject to any SBA enforcement actions.

For More Information

For more information, contact your local SBA District Office.