WASHINGTON (5/7/15)--The U.S. Small Business Administration says it has adopted a major expansion to a free online tool it unveiled in February. The tool is called LINC, for Leveraging Information and Networks to Access Capital, and it was created to help SBA lenders and credit-seeking entrepreneurs connect.
Since the agency launched the program as a pilot, nearly 14,000 matches have been made, SBA Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet reported in a speech Wednesday at the National Government Guaranteed Lenders annual conference in San Antonio, Texas. It was there that the administrator announced, effective immediately, all SBA lenders can participate in LINC.
When launched, the pilot was available only to nonprofit lenders.
LINC requires small business owners fill out a form with 20 questions, and then connects them to SBA lenders within 48 hours. The service is free and meant to allow entrepreneurs to get their foot in the door at any number of institutions and improve their access to capital, according to the SBA (News Now Feb. 13).
Of note for credit unions, the guaranteed portions of SBA-backed loans do not count toward credit unions' cap on member business lending. SBA guarantees range from 50% up to 90% of the principal of each loan, depending on the loan type.
Lenders may sign up for LINC electronically or email LINC@sba.gov with questions.
This week is National Small Business Week, May 4-8, and related SBA events throughout the week will be live-streamed on SBA’s website at www.sba.gov/nsbw.