U.S. Small Business Administration Introduces Three New Loan Programs

By Wedel, Steve | THE JOURNAL RECORD, June 16, 2003 | Go to article overview

U.S. Small Business Administration Introduces Three New Loan Programs


Wedel, Steve, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Sometimes, all that's standing between an employee and the American dream is the little bit of capital needed to start his or her own business. For that person - or those who are already operating a small business but who are having trouble getting loans to allow expansion - the Oklahoma district office of the federal Small Business Administration is ready to help.

Three new loan programs introduced to Oklahoma by the SBA can help people get loans ranging from $500 to $250,000 to start or expand their business. To help budding entrepreneurs learn about the new loans, the SBA will be hosting four workshops on June 24 and 26 in various locations in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

With so many layoffs happening in a weak economy, Darla Booker, the local public information officer for the SBA said, "A lot of people are looking to step out and live the American dream, but a lot of people just need a small loan to get started."

Booker said that statistics show that when people start their own business, they often do a complete career change rather than doing the same thing they were doing as an employee. "They're starting to do things they really want to do," Booker said. "Making money is a good motivator, but a lot of times people are more successful doing what they want to do."

However, starting a business takes more than just a lot of nerve and motivation. Booker said, "A lot of people don't go into business or they fail because they only need a small amount of money. Banks usually can't loan small amounts like that and make any money at it, so people don't get those small loans."

That's why the SBA MicroLoan, Community Express loan and Pre- Qualification loan programs are so helpful, said Jerry Reece, assistant district director of economic development for SBA in Oklahoma.

The Community Express program, Reece said, is provided by Innovative Bank of Oakland, Calif. The bank has created a niche for itself by providing loans of $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000. "Those are loan sizes we get requests on, but lenders don't like to deal with those small amounts, especially for a commercial loan," Reece said.

He said that a lot of people are looking for loans in those three amounts to start a business or expand in some specific way, such as buying a new piece of equipment. …

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