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SBA Loans for Women-Owned Businesses


How to Apply for an SBA 7(a) Loan

Step 1: Check your eligibility. Before you even begin your application, make sure your business is eligible. Visit the SBA website for a list of eligible businesses. You must also meet the requirements listed above.

Step 2: Review requirements and gather paperwork. The more organized you are, the swifter the application process will move. To learn more about documents required for an SBA loan, visit the SmartBiz Blog. How to Get an SBA Loan: Documents You Need

Step 3: Choose a lender. Although SmartBiz Loans is not a lender, we work with multiple banks to help match you with the lender most likely to fund. This can help you save  time in selecting a lender.

Ready to apply for an SBA loan? Discover if you’re prequalified in minutes without impacting your credit score here. If you’re not quite ready for an SBA loan, our loan specialists can help you explore other options.

The SBA’s Microloan Program

The Microloan Program is available for very small businesses and provides loans of up to $50,000 for eligible businesses. Requirements to qualify for a microloan can vary depending on the lender. Proceeds from an SBA Microloan can be used for most business expenses but not for paying down debt or real estate purchases.

The CDC/504 Loan Program

This program is described by the SBA as a win-win-win for the small business, the community, and participating lenders. Created to help provide small businesses a low-cost funding option for expansion or modernization, up to 50% of project costs are funded by a lender backed by the SBA. CDCs (Community Development Corporations) typically fund up to 40% of the project cost. The final 10% is a cash down payment expected to come from the small business owner.

Note: SmartBiz lenders do not offer SBA 504 loans.

The SBA sets the maximum interest banks can charge on CDC/504 loans.

The minimum 504 Loan Requirements include:

  • For profit business
  • Must present a comprehensive business plan and show relevant management expertise
  • Operate your business in the United States or its territories.
  • Business net worth must be less than 15 million dollars
  • Business must have an average net income less than $5 million
  • Ability to repay the loan on time based on cash flow
  • The use of proceeds from 504 Loans must be used for fixed assets (and certain soft costs), including the purchase of buildings, land and land improvements, construction of new facilities or modernizing, renovating, or converting existing facilities, the purchase of long-term machinery or debt refinance in connection with an expansion of the business.

For more information about the  CDC/504 Loan Program , visit the SBA website here. For additional information on eligibility criteria and loan application requirements, contact your local Certified Development Company (CDC).

Non-SBA Bank Loans

Non-SBA loans are term loans meant to be repaid in a shorter amount of time than the 10-year term of a typical SBA loan. This type of loan can be a good option to help you obtain  the funds you need to grow or maintain your business until you are ready for an SBA loan.

SmartBiz currently offers non-SBA loans through its bank partners. Details include:

  • $30,000 to $500,000 loan amounts
  • 2 – 5-year repayment terms
  • Fixed interest rate as low as 6.99%*
  • Monthly repayments
  • No pre-payment penalties
  • Funds can be used for working capital, debt refinance and new equipment purchase

Female entrepreneur success stories

At SmartBiz Loans, about 30% of  SBA 7(a)  of successful loan applicants are women-owned businesses compared to the national average of only 14%.  From 2017 to 2019, SmartBiz increased the dollar amount facilitated to African American Women owned businesses by 45%.

We love to speak with our female customers to learn about their entrepreneurial journey to successful business ownership. Read about them on the SmartBiz Small Business Blog:



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