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SBA Launches Online Matchmaking for Small Business Loans

Release Date: 
Friday, March 27, 2015
Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Friday, March 27, 2015

SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet

Across the country, thousands of small business owners pound the pavement every day looking for term loans, equipment financing, lines of credit, invoice financing, and real estate loans to help them hire and grow. If you have a bankable business idea backed by good credit and sound financial planning, you should not have to go begging to borrow.

Online matchmaking services pairing lenders with prospective borrowers comprise a multibillion dollar industry. Small businesses lending is the next frontier for these matchmaking services. Using the power of the Internet, commercial lenders are finding creditworthy small business borrowers, while entrepreneurs are finding loan officers who are ready to sit down and talk.

SBA has a initiative called LINC (Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital). Our matchmaking service will help entrepreneurs connect with a lender. SBA developed an online form with 20 questions that takes just minutes to complete. The form is then sent to participating SBA lenders in an applicant’s county, as well as financial institutions with a statewide or national reach.

While a positive “hit,” this will not ensure that entrepreneurs will receive a loan, but it will fast track the process because the applicant has been pre-screened. If LINC does not produce an immediate match, entrepreneurs will be directed to their local SBA adviser for additional assistance with the loan application.

SBA is rolling out LINC in two phases. In Phase 1 we begin connecting small business owners with nonprofit lenders who offer free financial advice and specialize in microlending, smaller loans (our Community Advantage program), and real estate financing (our 504 program). Phase 1 is off to a strong start. We already have participating LINC lenders in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. These lenders have made a combined 42,000 loans totaling more than $17 billion since 2009.

In phase 2 later this year, we plan to add more traditional banks which offer an even wider array of financial products. In the longer term, we also believe LINC can be modified to facilitate government contracting by connecting eligible small businesses with procurement officers, prime contractors, and federal buyers.

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