The Small Business Administration (SBA) has launched a first-of-its-kind tool on the federal agency’s website that allows entrepreneurs looking for a small business loan to get matched with an SBA lender. The new tool, called LINC (Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital), requires small business owners to fill out a simple online form with 20 questions and connects them with lenders within 48 hours. By directly connecting with prospective borrowers, the agency aims to provide more guidance and ensure more capital is reaching U.S. entrepreneurs.
“LINC will bring entrepreneurs and SBA lenders together,” says SBA administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “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.”
After filling out the form, a borrower’s answers will be blasted out to every lender in that borrower’s county, as well as to other lenders with a regional or national reach. Lenders will respond within 48 hours — with no fees or commitment required.
“LINC will roll out in waves. It will begin by connecting small business owners with nonprofit lenders that offer free financial advice and specialize in micro lending, loans in our Community Advantage program, and real estate financing. In the longer term, we’ll look to add more traditional banks that offer an even wider array of financial products,” says Contreras-Sweet.
For more information, go to www.sba.gov/tools/linc.