The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) acknowledged Accion Texas’s success as a small business lending partner by granting the nonprofit organization the “delegated authority” to cut approval times for applicants of the 7a Community Advantage loan from up to four weeks to within four days.
The SBA 7a Community Advantage program offers qualifying businesses with small business loans up to $250,000 to start or expand a business. Accion Texas started participating in the 7a Community Advantage loan program in July 2011, after the SBA started the pilot program in February that year. Since then, Accion Texas has approved 20 loans totaling more than $2.9 million to small businesses in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas.
With delegated authority, Accion Texas can approve SBA 7a Community Advantage loans to small businesses without forwarding applications to the SBA to review, cutting the approval process time down from weeks to just days. The SBA gives the designation of “delegated authority” to mission-focused, community-based lenders that serve low-income communities, based on the organization’s loan volume and loan quality.
This spring, Accion Texas received an award from the National Association of Development Companies for being one of the top 10 SBA 7a Community Advantage lenders in the nation. Accion Texas placed fifth among several dozen lenders participating in the SBA program.
“We’re excited that we can help small business owners achieve their dreams through the SBA 7a Community Advantage loan program,” said Dan Lawless, chief lending officer at Accion Texas. “Our goal this year is to double our approvals for the 7a program to $2.2 million. Being given delegated authority will help us achieve this goal.”
The Community Advantage loan product was designed by the SBA to reach underserved communities whose small business owners typically find it difficult to secure funding elsewhere. The product is a term loan with an interest rate range from 7.25 to 9.25 percent.
In order to be considered eligible for this loan program, businesses must meet one of the following requirements: The business must be located in low- to moderate-income community, in an Empowerment Zone, Enterprise Community, or HUB Zone. The business must be considered a “small business” according to SBA standards, or be owned by a veteran.
About Accion Texas
Accion Texas Inc. is a nonprofit, multi-state microlending company and small business lender that helps new and existing entrepreneurs successfully grow their businesses. Through affordable lending and business development services, Accion Texasis committed to empowering diverse individuals and small businesses that have limited access to traditional sources of capital.
Since we opened our first office in San Antonio with three employees in 1994, Accion Texas has helped thousands of people achieve their small business dreams. We’ve made nearly 15,000 loans totaling more than $160 million. Accion now operates in eight states: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas. We offer business loans between $500 and $250,000 throughout our footprint, and up to $5.5 million in Texas through the SBA 504 lending program. Additionally, we offer training, networking opportunities and other support services for hardworking entrepreneurs. To learn more about Accion Texas’s offerings, call 888-215-2373 or visit www.acciontexas.org.