The 7(a) Loan Program is SBA’s primary program for helping start-up and existing small businesses, with financing guaranteed for a variety of general business purposes. SBA guarantees loans made by participating lending institutions. 7(a) loan proceeds may be used to establish a new business or to assist in the operation, expansion, or acquisition of an existing business. To be eligible for assistance, a business cannot have access to funds or resources from other sources, must demonstrate an ability to repay the loan on time from projected operating cash flow, present a viable business plan, and demonstrate management expertise and the commitment necessary for success.

SBA can guarantee as much as 85% on loans of up to $150,000 and 75% on loans of more than $150,000. 7(a) loans have a maximum loan amount of $5 million. SBA’s maximum exposure is $3.75 million. Thus, if a business receives an SBA-guaranteed loan for $5 million, the maximum guaranty to the lender will be $3.75 million or 75%.

For additional information, visit www.sba.gov or contact a local SBA representative at (704) 344-6563.