SBA Loans & Requirements for Small Business - Sunwest Bank
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SBA Loans & Requirements for Small Business

Small Business Lending: Your Partner in Growth

One of the most significant hurdles many entrepreneurs face is securing the necessary funding to grow and sustain their ventures. Traditional commercial loans can be difficult to obtain for small businesses. This is where SBA loans come into play, offering a lifeline to businesses in need. At Sunwest Bank, we understand the unique challenges faced by small businesses and are a preferred SBA partner. Our dedicated team, with years of experience in SBA lending, is committed to guiding entrepreneurs through the process. We pride ourselves on our deep understanding of the intricacies of SBA loans and our ability to help businesses unlock the potential of this invaluable resource.

504 Loan  |  7a CRE Loan  |  7a Multipurpose Loan
7a Capline  |  SBA Express and Export Express

What are SBA loans?

SBA loans are specialized business financing options backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Designed to support the backbone of the American economy – the small businesses, these loans offer a chance to those who might find doors closed elsewhere. The SBA doesn’t directly lend money. Instead, it collaborates with various preferred lenders, community development organizations, and micro-lending institutions to facilitate these loans, ensuring that small businesses have access to the capital they need.


How do SBA loans work?

At its core, the SBA acts as a guarantor. If a business defaults on its loan, the SBA promises to cover a portion of the lender’s loss. This guarantee significantly reduces the risk for lenders, allowing them to offer more favorable terms than traditional loans. This translates to lower interest rates, extended repayment periods, and a higher chance of loan approval for businesses.


How do SBA loans differ from other types of loans?

While traditional business loans evaluate a company’s profitability, creditworthiness, and collateral, SBA loans have a broader perspective. They consider the business’s potential, impact on the community, and contribution to the local economy. The government guarantee also means that lenders are more willing to take on riskier ventures, making SBA loans particularly beneficial for startups, businesses in transition, or those operating in volatile industries.


What are the different types of SBA loans available?

The SBA offers a variety of loan programs to cater to diverse business needs.

SBA 7(a) Loan Program:

A versatile option suitable for a range of purposes, from working capital to refinancing debt.

  • 7A CRE Loan (Commercial Real Estate Loan): This loan is designed for businesses looking to acquire, refinance, or construct commercial properties. It offers long-term financing, making it easier for businesses to manage their real estate investments.
  • 7A Multipurpose Loan: This loan is versatile and can be used for a range of purposes, from working capital to equipment purchase. It’s suitable for businesses with diverse financial needs.
  • 7A CAPLine: This revolving line of credit is designed to meet businesses’ short-term working capital needs. It’s ideal for managing cash flow, seasonal financing, contract performance, or construction financing.


SBA 504 Loan Program:

Ideal for businesses looking to purchase major fixed assets, such as real estate or large equipment.


SBA Express Loan:

This program provides a streamlined application process for businesses seeking loans up to $500,000. With a faster approval time compared to other SBA loans, it’s ideal for businesses needing quick access to funds. The funds can be used for various purposes, including working capital, equipment purchases, or debt refinancing. The SBA guarantees up to 50% of the loan amount, making it attractive for lenders and beneficial for borrowers seeking competitive terms.


What are the benefits of SBA-guaranteed loans?

The advantages of SBA loans are manifold:

  • Competitive Rates: Often lower than traditional business loans.
  • Flexible Terms: Extended repayment periods reduce the monthly financial burden.
  • Broad Usage: Funds can be used for a variety of business purposes.
  • Counseling and Training: Many SBA loans come with access to free business counseling, training, and other resources.
  • Building Business Credit: Timely repayment can boost a business’s credit score, making future financing easier.


What are the general and specific eligibility criteria for obtaining an SBA loan?

General eligibility for an SBA loan includes operating for profit, being based in the U.S., and having a reasonable amount of owner equity. However, each SBA loan program has its specific criteria, which can include the business’s size, its financial standing, and the industry it operates in.

For example, an SBA 504 loan requires that businesses have a tangible net worth of less than $15 million and an average net income not exceeding $5 million after federal income taxes for the two preceding years. The funds from this loan are primarily used for purchasing land, buildings, or long-term machinery and equipment.

The 7(a) loan program, one of the most versatile SBA offerings, mandates that businesses meet the SBA’s size standards, which vary by industry. The proceeds from a 7(a) loan can be used for a variety of purposes, from working capital to refinancing debt.


Am I eligible for an SBA loan?

Determining eligibility requires a thorough assessment of your business and its financial health. Our dedicated SBA team at Sunwest Bank is here to guide you through the intricacies of the application process, ensuring you understand every requirement and stand the best chance of approval.


SBA Loan Alternatives at Sunwest Bank

While SBA loans are invaluable for many businesses, they may not be the best fit for your business’s needs. Sunwest Bank provides a variety of lending solutions tailored to cater to the diverse financial needs of businesses:

  • Traditional Business Loans: Beyond the SBA-backed loans, Sunwest Bank offers traditional business loans with competitive interest rates and terms. These loans can be customized based on the business’s financial standing and requirements.
  • Commercial Real Estate Loans: For businesses looking to purchase, refinance, or construct commercial properties, Sunwest Bank’s commercial real estate loans offer flexible terms and competitive rates.
  • Equipment Financing: Businesses in need of machinery, technology, or other essential equipment can benefit from Sunwest Bank’s equipment financing options. This allows companies to finance the purchase of necessary equipment without depleting their working capital.
  • Solar Financing: Recognizing the shift towards sustainable energy, Sunwest Bank offers specialized financing for commercial solar projects. This enables businesses to invest in renewable energy solutions with favorable financing terms.
  • Line of Credit: For businesses seeking flexible financing solutions, a business line of credit from Sunwest Bank can provide the necessary funds on an as-needed basis. This is especially useful for managing cash flow fluctuations or unexpected expenses.


Sunwest Bank’s commitment to supporting businesses’ growth is evident in its comprehensive range of lending products. Whether you’re looking to expand, invest in new equipment, or embark on sustainable initiatives, Sunwest offers lending solutions that can be tailored to your specific needs.