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Office of Financial Assistance | Resources

CAPLines Program: Reengineered to Help Meet Working Capital Needs

The new CAPLines program gives small businesses more flexibility to finance the contracts, subcontracts, and purchase orders they compete for and win – both in the public and private sector.  By addressing the short-term and cyclical working capital needs of small businesses, the revolving line of credit will help small businesses manage their cash cycle, scale up and create jobs.


The CAPLines program was reworked to help more small businesses finance contracts through an SBA revolving line of credit.

Today, small businesses often compete for contracts to help them scale up and create jobs.One of the biggest “growing pains” associated with winning a new contract is the business often does not have the necessary cash on-hand to hire workers and buy materials to help fulfill the order.CAPLines provides a path for these small businesses to finance contracts while avoiding high-interest rates.

Formerly, CAPLines was an underutilized SBA working capital program.This year, the SBA engaged over 150 community lenders in all 50 states to uncover ways the program could work more effectively for both SBA lending partners and small businesses themselves.

Key benefits of the new CAPLines program:

  • Small businesses can pledge accounts receivable, inventory, contracts, and purchase orders in order to secure an SBA revolving line of credit.  For example, when fulfilling a purchase order request, that same order can be used as collateral to obtain an SBA-guaranteed line of credit to hire more workers and buy more materials.
  • Small business subcontractors can now obtain an SBA-guaranteed line of credit to finance their work on a contract with a federal prime contractor. 
  • The SBA will no longer require small business owners without buildings or equipment to use their personal assets as collateral to secure working capital. 
  • Small businesses working on a contract that requires surety bonding can obtain an SBA-guaranteed line of credit.

In addition, small businesses that use CAPLines will benefit from the new increased SBA 7(a) loan limit of $5 million, which went into effect with the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010.  These larger loan sizes will help small businesses that are poised to win bigger contracts and create a significant number of jobs.