The Small Business Administration is launching a first of its kind tool that will allow entrepreneurs that are looking for a small business loan to get matched with an SBA lender. Called LINC (Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital), this new tool will have small business owners fill out a simple online form of 20 questions and connect them with lenders within 48 hours. By directly connecting with prospective borrowers, the agency will be able to provide more guidance and ensure that more capital is reaching our nation’s entrepreneurs.
“Across the country, 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,” said Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet, in a statement.
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. Once lenders have reviewed the information that matters most to them, they’ll respond within 48 hours. There is no cost or fees. This option will untether entrepreneurs from the one neighborhood bank, using technology to get their foot in the door at any of a 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, loans in the SBA’s Community Advantage program, and real estate financing. In the longer term, the SBA plans to look at adding more traditional banks that offer an even wider array of financial products.
There are roughly 124 lenders across the SBA’s lending programs that are participating in LINC, operating in all 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico. To learn more, go to https://www.sba.gov/tools/linc.