SBA To Launch Loan Program for Cash-Strapped Small Businesses
Starting on June 15,
By Patrick Henry
Published: May 26, 2009
Starting on June 15, printing companies and other small businesses in tough financial straits may be able to get some of the emergency cash they need through a lending program operated by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). It’s called America’s Recovery Capital Loan Program (ARC), and it’s designed to provide up to $35,000 in short-term relief for qualified applicants. The loans, made by participating banks and other commercial sources of capital, are interest-free to borrowers, guaranteed by SBA to the lenders, and repayable over periods up to five years. The idea behind the program is to take financial pressure off struggling but basically sound small firms by enabling them to redirect cash flow to business expansion and job retention. This could be accomplished by making payments on existing loans with the proceeds from an ARC loan, which are provided to borrowers over a six-month period. Repayment is deferred for 12 months after the last disbursement is made. All expense-stressed small businesses can apply, but the eligibility requirements are specific. For one thing, applicants can’t be start-ups. The company must provide financial statements demonstrating it was profitable in one of the past three years. It also must be able to project enough cash flow to meet current and future loan payments over a two-year period from loan approval. Each applicant is limited to one ARC loan. Under the program—part of the $787 billion federal economic stimulus bill passed in February—SBA will pay participating lenders a monthly interest rate throughout the terms of the loans. The agency says that ARC loans will be offered by some of its lenders for as long as funding is available or until September 30, 2010, whichever comes first. Complete information is available at the ARC Loan Program web site. To speak with an SBA customer service representative, call 866-947-8081 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Eastern).