The SBA Loan Types Business Owners Should Know About


My name is Cameron (Cam) Stephens, Lending Team Lead at Community First Bank.

After working with a number of local small business owners, I thought it would be pertinent to discuss three popular types of SBA lending options that are available here at CFB: 7(a) loans (most common), 504 loans, and the SBA Express Loans/lines.



Due to the benefits it provides to small businesses with special lending requirements, the 7(a) has become the most common type of loan program. It is often the best option when real estate is involved in a business purchase, but it can also be used for working capital, the refinance of current business debt, and even furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E). It does have a maximum loan limit of $5 million, as well as other requirements that need to be fulfilled before you qualify. However, the benefits for this type of lending option can really go a long way to help any small business preserve capital, expand their current business, acquire an existing business, and even start a new company.

The SBA has provided a special appropriation of $75 billion for the 7(a) program that runs through the end of September 2021. This program is waiving the upfront and ongoing guarantee fees for the life of the loan and will provide six months of covered P&I payments for any new loan closed prior to September 2021. These savings go a long way in both making new projects more affordable and in providing the return on investment that many business owners seek. If you are thinking about a new project, now might be the right time.



The 504/CDC loan program provides long-term, fixed-rate financing of up to $5 million for major fixed assets (i.e., equipment, new buildings, land, and improvement or modernization of existing buildings) that promote business growth and job creation. 504 loans are available through SBA community-based partners who regulate and promote economic development, known as Certified Development Companies (CDC). This is a great option for business owners who want to lock in their borrowing costs for an extended period of time. When a business can plan for its cost of capital multiple years in advance, business decisions become easier and more focus can be spent on the execution of the business plan.


SBA Express

The SBA Express 7(a) lending option is very helpful for small businesses in the growth stage of their business development. This option helps them qualify for a line of credit to manage cash flow, purchase a piece of needed equipment to expand, or assist in acquiring a new business. Of the three SBA options mentioned in this post, the SBA Express 7(a) is the most flexible. Many businesses have greatly benefited from this type of lending option.

If you would like to discuss the SBA lending option that is best for your business, please reach out to our team. At Community First Bank, our goal is to be Your Financial Partner For Life, and being a resource in all things SBA lending is just one way we can partner with you on your journey.



Lending Team Lead, Community First Bank



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