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SBA Expands Program for Lenders

Small businesses are expected to benefit from recent changes to a pilot loan program administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Revisions to SBAExpress will significantly increase the number of lenders participating in the program and will increase small businesses' access to capital, according to the SBA.

The changes allow an estimated 2,400 lenders already delivering SBA loan products to participate in the SBAExpress program. Many of these lenders serve small businesses in remote or rural areas. In addition, the SBA will open the program to lenders who are experienced in small-business lending but who have not participated with the SBA.

The program's loan limit will be raised to $250,000 from $150,000 and incentives will be offered to lenders to increase the availability of smaller loans, especially those of $50,000 or less.

To simplify access to loan products, the SBAExpress program allows lenders to use their own forms and processes to approve SBA-guaranteed loans. In addition, the agency generally provides an immediate response to SBAExpress applications.

For information, call the SBA Answer Desk at 1-800-827-5722 or visit its web site at www.sba.gov.

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