Economic Development

SBA Adds Online LINC to Aid Small-Business Borrowers

WASHINGTON — A new tool available on the U.S. Small Business Administration’s website will help link entrepreneurs looking for a small-business loan to get matched with an SBA lender.

The tool, called LINC (for Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital), allows small-business owners to fill out a simple online form of 20 questions and connect them with potential lenders within 48 hours, SBA announced in a news release Tuesday.

As of Thursday’s launch, 124 lenders across SBA’s lending programs are participating in LINC, operating in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
“Effective today, LINC will bring entrepreneurs and SBA lenders together. There’s a hunger among entrepreneurs to find financing to get their business off the ground or take the next big step in their expansion plan. The SBA stands there ready to help them, now with a few simple clicks,” said Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA administrator.

“Across the country, thousands of small-business owners pound the pavement every day looking for term loans, equipment financing, lines of credit, invoice financing and real estate loans to help them hire and grow. If you have a bankable business idea backed by good credit and sound financial planning, the SBA wants to streamline the process for you to get the capital you need,” she added.

Once a prospective borrower fills out the online form, those answers will be sent to every lender in that borrower’s county as well as to other lenders with a regional or national reach. Once lenders have reviewed the information that matters most to them, they’ll respond within 48 hours. This option will untether entrepreneurs from the one neighborhood bank, using technology to get their foot in the door at any number of institutions and improve their access to capital.

Rolling out in waves, LINC will begin by connecting small-business owners with nonprofit lenders that offer free financial advice and specialize in micro lending, loans in SBA’s Community Advantage program and real estate financing. SBA also will seek to add more traditional banks that offer a wider array of financial products.

SOURCE: U.S. Small Business Administration.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.