WASHINGTON (2/13/15)--A tool to help Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders and entrepreneurs connect was announced by the SBA Thursday.
The Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital (LINC) tool will have small business owners fill out a form with 20 questions, and they will be connected to SBA lenders within 48 hours.
After filling out the form, a borrower's answers will be sent to every lender in that borrower's county, as well as regional or national lenders within reach. Once lenders have reviewed the information, they'll respond 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.
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, SBA Community Advantage loans and real estate financing. In the longer-term, SBA will look to add more traditional institutions that offer an even wider array of financial products.
The guaranteed portions of SBA-backed loans do not count against 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.