Jump to Main Content
USA flagAn Official Website of the United States Government

Comment Count:
7

Comments welcome on this page. See Rules of Conduct.

The 504 Loan Program Explained

By kmurray, Contributor and Moderator
Published: October 21, 2013

Are you looking to expand or modernize your small business? If you’re exploring your financing options, then SBA’s 504 Loan Program (or Certified Development Company (CDC) loan) may be for you. Designed especially to help small businesses grow, you can use funds to make purchases for real estate and equipment, just to name a few. Read on for more details to see if this is a good option for you.

Am I eligible?

In addition to operating your business for profit, you’ll need to have a feasible business plan and relevant management expertise to be considered eligible for a 504 loan. As with any business seeking SBA’s financial assistance, you’re also required to do business in the United States or its territories. And you must have tried to use other financial resources, including personal assets, before applying for a loan. Here are some other requirements to consider:

  • Your business must have a tangible net worth of less than 15 million dollars.
  • Your business must have an average net income less than $5 million after taxes for the preceding two years.
  • You must have the ability to repay the loan on time from the projected operating cash flow of your business.

How can I use the funds?

Loan funds can be used to:

  • Purchase land;
  • Purchase existing buildings;
  • Purchase long-term machinery and equipment;
  • Purchase improvements (including grading, street improvements, utilities, parking lots and landscaping); or
  • Build new facilities or modernize, renovate or convert existing facilities.

A 504 loan cannot be used for:

  • Working capital or inventory;
  • Consolidating, repaying or refinancing debt (although for a portion of the project, you may refinance debt associated with buying or renovating equipment or facilities); or
  • Speculation or investment in rental real estate.

What are the amounts and repayment terms?

Maximum loan amounts are determined by how they’ll be used ­– if they support goals associated with job creation, public policy or small manufacturing. The loan terms also vary. For land and buildings, the loan term is 20 years; it’s a 10-year term for machinery and equipment.

Think the 504 Loan Program might be for you? Find your local CDC and learn more about the application process today.

Related Resources

About the Author:

kmurray
Katie Murray

Contributor and Moderator

I am an author and moderator for the the SBA.gov Community. I'll share useful information for your entrepreneurial endeavors and help point you in the right direction to find other resources for your small business needs. Thanks for joining our online community here at SBA.gov!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to leave comments. If you already have an SBA.gov account, Log In to leave your comment.

New users, Register for a new account and join the conversation today!

Comment Count:
17

Comments welcome on this page. See Rules of Conduct.

9 Cyber Security Tips for Small Business Owners

By ngoriel, SBA Official
Published: October 17, 2013

Small businesses are becoming a larger target for criminals seeking to access sensitive data because attackers are well aware that small businesses have limited resources or personnel dedicated to information system security. In an effort to combat cyber-attacks, the Department of Homeland Security established October as National Cyber Security Awareness Month to educate the public about cyber security and to prepare the nation in the event of a cyber-incident.

Here are 9 cyber security tips for small business owners:

1.      Use the FCC’s Small Biz Cyber Planner to create a cyber security plan

The Small Biz Cyber Planner is valuable for businesses that lack the resources to hire a dedicated staff member to protect themselves from cyber threats. The tool walks users through a series of questions to determine which cyber security strategies should be included in the planning guide, and generates a customized PDF that serves as a cyber-security strategy template.

 

2.      Establish cyber security rules for  your employees

Establish rules of behavior describing how to handle and protect personally identifiable information.  Clearly detail the penalties for violating cyber security policies.

 

3.      Protect against viruses, spyware, and other malicious code
Install, use, and regularly update antivirus and antispyware software on every computer used in your business. Such software is readily available online from a variety of vendors.

 

4.      Educate employees about safe social media practices

Depending on what your business does, employees might be introducing competitors to sensitive details about your firm’s internal business. Employees should be taught how to post online in a way that does not reveal any trade secrets to the public or competing businesses. This type of safe social networking can help avoid serious risks to your business.

 

5.      Manage and assess risk

Ask yourself, “What do we have to protect? And, what would impact our business the most?” Cyber-criminals often use lesser-protected small businesses as a bridge to attack larger firms with which they have a relationship. This can make unprepared small firms a less attractive business partner in the future, blocking potentially lucrative business deals.

 

6.      Download and install software updates when they are available
All software vendors regularly provide patches and updates to their products to correct security problems and improve functionality. Configure all software to install such updates automatically.

 

7.      Make backup copies of important business data and information
Regularly backup the data on every computer used in your business. Critical data includes word processing documents, spreadsheets, databases, financial files, human resources files, and accounts receivable/payable files. Backup data automatically if possible, or at least weekly.

 

8.      Control physical access to computers and network components

Prevent access or use of business computers by unauthorized individuals. Laptops can be particularly easy targets for theft, so make sure they are stored and locked up when unattended.

 

9.      Secure Wi-Fi networks

If you have a Wi-Fi network for your home business make sure it is secure and hidden. To hide your Wi-Fi network, configure your wireless access point or router so that it does not broadcast the network name, known as the Service Set Identifier (SSID).  In addition, make sure that passwords are required for access. It is also critical to change the administrative password that was on the device when it was first purchased.

Click here for a list of cyber security events and webinars. 

Source: FCC's Cyber Security Tips for Small Business

 

Other Related Resources

Federal Communications Commission – Cyber Security for Small Business

Learn more about National Cyber Security Awareness Month

OnGuardOnline.gov- Federal government’s website to help protect you online

 

 

About the Author:

ngoriel
Natale Goriel

SBA Official

Hi, my name is Natale and I'm serving as a Moderator for the SBA Community. Our goal is to continually improve this site to meet your needs, so we appreciate your feedback and participation.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to leave comments. If you already have an SBA.gov account, Log In to leave your comment.

New users, Register for a new account and join the conversation today!

Comment Count:
3

Comments welcome on this page. See Rules of Conduct.

SBA is Back to Business

By Jeanne Hulit, Former Acting SBA Administrator
Published: October 17, 2013 Updated: October 17, 2013

The federal government has re-opened and that means the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) can get back to helping America’s 28 million small businesses do what they do best: create jobs and help grow our economy.

As the President said, the shutdown had real consequences for America’s families, communities, and small businesses.  During the shutdown, I heard stories from small business owners about contracts cancelled or put on hold, workers they had to furlough, and the potential for shift and staff reductions.  For small businesses, the shutdown also meant that SBA loan applications could not be approved and small businesses could not receive help exporting their goods to others countries. Many small businesses are still struggling with how to take care of their employees as they see projects postponed.

While some things may take a little time to get back up and running, our Agency is committed to helping small businesses continue to be the economic engine of this economy and are working hard to resume normal operation of our programs: 

  • SBA’s Office of Capital Access is once again getting capital into the hands of small business owners across the country, including resuming processing for roughly $140 million in  loans to the approximately 700 small businesses that applied for 7(a) loans during the shutdown.
  • Our 68 district offices have re-opened and are ready to provide their full services.
  • Due to their funding schedules, many of SBA’s resource partners were able to continue operations during the shutdown and beginning today our entire resource partner network of over 14,000 counselors and business coaches is now able to resume operations. 
  • Our Office of Government Contracting and Business Development has resumed processing 8(a) business development and HUBZone applications and ensuring that small businesses get their fair share of the roughly $400 Billion in federal contract spending. 
  • And SBA is back to work helping small businesses export through banker export training programs and the State Trade and Export Promotion (STEP) Program.

This is just a snapshot of the critical work that the SBA does in conjunction with our other federal, state and local partners to help small businesses start and grow across the country. We know that small businesses are the engine of our economy, and the SBA team is excited to get back to work serving America’s entrepreneurs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author:

Jeanne Hulit

Former Acting SBA Administrator

Jeanne Hulit is the Acting Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA helps both Main Street and high-growth small businesses get access to capital, counseling, federal contracts, disaster assistance and more.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to leave comments. If you already have an SBA.gov account, Log In to leave your comment.

New users, Register for a new account and join the conversation today!

SBA Learning Center

How to Sell to the Federal Government as a Small Business

In this short video, small business owners will learn how to sell their products or services to the federal government. 

SBA Learning Center

SBA's HUBZone Program

This short video describes SBA's HUBZone program which helps small businesses in urban and rural communities gain preferential access to federal procurement opportunities.

SBA Learning Center

Export Express Loans from SBA

This short video describes SBA’s Export Express Program, a loan program designed to help small businesses achieve exporting success.

SBA Learning Center

SBA 504 Loan Program- Helping Businesses Grow and Create Jobs

This short video describes the SBA’s 504 Loan Program, a loan program designed to help small businesses purchase major fixed assets such as equipment or real estate.

SBA Learning Center

Business Technology Simplified – Module 1

This course will cover some basic technology tools to help you run your business more efficiently.

Topics include: Benefiting from Current Desktop Technology, Using Technology to Save you Time, and Upgrading Your Accounting Practices.

Users should complete all three courses to receive an SBA certificate of completion.

To view the course on an iPad, you can download the free Articulate player from the App Store.

 

Duration: 00:30:00

System Requirements:

Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash Player

Due to Flash limitations, some courses will only play in iOS tablets or mobile devices with additional software installation
Course Preview Image
Business Technology Simplified – Module 2

This course will cover some basic technology tools to help you run your business more efficiently. 

Topics include: Using Web-Based Services to Get Advanced Capabilities without the Cost and Complexity, Storing and Protecting Your Information, Reducing Server Hardware with Virtualization, and more.

Users should complete all three courses to receive an SBA certificate of completion.

To view the course on an iPad, you can download the free Articulate player from the App Store.

Duration: 00:30:00

System Requirements:

Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash Player

Due to Flash limitations, some courses will only play in iOS tablets or mobile devices with additional software installation
Course Preview Image
Business Technology Simplified – Module 3

This course will cover some basic technology tools to help you run your business more efficiently. 

Topics include: Reaching More Customers by Extending Your Business Online, Creating Your Own Marketing Materials, Managing Your Sales Pipeline with a Contact Management Application, and more.

Users should complete all three courses to receive an SBA certificate of completion.

To view the course on an iPad, you can download the free Articulate player from the App Store.

Duration: 00:30:00

System Requirements:

Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash Player

Due to Flash limitations, some courses will only play in iOS tablets or mobile devices with additional software installation
Course Preview Image

SBA Learning Center

Pre-8(a) Business Development Program Module 3 - Winning Contracts

Module 3, Winning Contracts is divided into seven unique sections, each covering a specific topic.  Woven together the sections create an information composite designed to help prospective 8(a) firms understand how to sell goods and services to the government. 

Duration: 00:45:48

System Requirements:

Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash Player

Due to Flash limitations, some courses will only play in iOS tablets or mobile devices with additional software installation
Course Preview Image

Get Local Assistance

FIND RESOURCES

SBA Learning Center

Business Technology Simplified – Module 3

This course will cover some basic technology tools to help you run your business more efficiently. 

Topics include: Reaching More Customers by Extending Your Business Online, Creating Your Own Marketing Materials, Managing Your Sales Pipeline with a Contact Management Application, and more.

Users should complete all three courses to receive an SBA certificate of completion.

To view the course on an iPad, you can download the free Articulate player from the App Store.

Duration: 00:30:00

System Requirements:

Acrobat Reader, Adobe Flash Player

Due to Flash limitations, some courses will only play in iOS tablets or mobile devices with additional software installation
Course Preview Image

Other Courses You May Like

Get Local Assistance

FIND RESOURCES

Pages

Subscribe to The U.S. Small Business Administration | SBA.gov RSS