Today, Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet announced that the Small Business Administration (SBA) would launch a first of its kind tool on the federal agency’s website that will allow entrepreneurs looking for a small business loan to get matched with a SBA lender. This new tool, called LINC (Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital) 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 more capital is reaching our nation’s entrepreneurs.
“Effective today, LINC will bring entrepreneurs and SBA lenders together. There's a hunger among entrepreneurs to find financing to get their business off the ground or take the next big step in their expansion plan. The SBA stands there ready to help them, now with a few simple clicks,” said Contreras-Sweet. “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.”
After filling out the form, a borrower’s answers will be sent 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, all this for no fees or commitment. This option will untether entrepreneurs from the one neighborhood bank, using technology to get their foot in the door at any number of institutions and improve their access to capital.
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 our Community Advantage program, and real estate financing. In the longer-term, SBA will look to add more traditional banks that offer an even wider array of financial products.
As of today’s launch, 124 lenders across SBA’s lending programs are participating in LINC, operating in all 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico. Since 2009, these borrowers have made more than 42,000 SBA loans, totaling more than $17 billion. Prospective borrowers may immediately go to www.sba.gov/tools/linc.