Six lenders have received the green light from the U.S. Small Business Adminnistration to approve loans in a program for underserved communities.
The Community Advantage pilot program is aimed at expanding points of access to capital for small business owners by opening SBA’s 7(a) loan program to community-based, mission-focused financial institutions, including community development financial institutions, SBA’s certified development companies and SBA’s nonprofit microlending intermediaries.
Advantage loans come with the SBA’s regular 7(a) government guarantee, which is 85% for loans up to $150,000 and 75% for those greater than $150,000.
The first Community Advantage lenders approved by the SBA are Cen-Tex CDC dba BCL of Texas, Austin, Texas, The Progress Fund, Greensburg, Pa., Eastern Maine Development Corp., Bangor, Maine, Idaho-Nevada Community Development Financial Institution, Pocatello, Idaho, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, London, Ky., and CDC Small Business Finance, in San Diego.
The Community Advantage pilot program was announced by SBA in December and applications to participate opened Feb. 15.