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While Harborstone Credit Union has been offering business loans since 2002, the Lakewood, Wash.-based cooperative could not have predicted how great member demand would be for the SBA’s programs.

So when the $730 million credit union heard about a new offering from the SBA that would help refinance commercial real estate properties, it quickly signed on to participate. Launched Feb. 17, the 504-formulated program will allow small businesses facing maturity of commercial mortgages or balloon payments before Dec. 31, 2012, to refinance their mortgage debt with a 504 loan. The SBA began accepting refinancing applications Feb. 28. The program, authorized under the Small Business Jobs Act, will be in effect through Sept. 27, 2012.

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