SBA Lending with Triad Business Bank

General Overview of SBA Loans 

SBA lending is geared towards supporting small businesses with favorable loan terms, and government guarantees.
Differences between traditional loans and SBA loans:
SBA (Small Business Administration) lending and conventional lending are two distinct approaches to obtaining financing for businesses. Here are the key differences between them:

  • Eligibility Criteria: SBA loans are specifically designed to assist small businesses that may have difficulty accessing traditional financing. The SBA has specific eligibility criteria that businesses must meet to qualify for their loan programs, such as being a small business based on industry size standards, demonstrating repayment ability, and having exhausted other financial resources. Conventional lending typically has its own set of eligibility requirements, which may vary depending on the lender, but generally focus on factors like creditworthiness, collateral, and financial stability
  • Loan Terms and Amounts: SBA loans often offer longer repayment terms compared to conventional loans. SBA loans can have terms of up to 25 years, while conventional loans typically have shorter terms. The loan amounts for SBA loans can range from a few thousand dollars up to several million dollars, depending on the specific program. Conventional loans may offer higher loan amounts but are often limited to what the lender is willing to provide based on their risk assessment.
  • Interest Rates and Fees: SBA loans tend to have more competitive interest rates compared to conventional loans, especially for small businesses with limited credit history or collateral. The SBA sets a maximum interest rate that lenders can charge, ensuring that rates remain reasonable for borrowers. Additionally, SBA loans may have lower origination fees compared to conventional loans. Conventional loans, on the other hand, are negotiated between the borrower and the lender, and the interest rates and fees may vary depending on various factors, including creditworthiness and market conditions.
  • Collateral Requirements: Conventional loans often require collateral, such as real estate, equipment, or inventory, to secure the loan. The collateral serves as a guarantee for the lender in case of default. In contrast, SBA loans may require collateral, but the SBA generally allows lenders to use their existing collateral policies. The SBA also provides alternative options, such as the 7(a) loan program, where the loan guarantee serves as partial collateral.

Projection and Business Plan Templates


Q: What is an SBA loan?

A: An SBA loan refers to a loan program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA is a government agency that supports and assists small businesses in various ways, including providing access to loans. The SBA does not directly lend money to businesses; instead, it guarantees a portion of the loan made by participating lenders, such as banks and credit unions.

Q: Who qualifies for SBA loans?

A: To qualify for an SBA loan, certain eligibility criteria must be met. While the specific requirements may vary depending on the loan program, here are some general guidelines for SBA loan eligibility:

  1. Size Standards: Your business must meet the SBA’s definition of a small business, which typically depends on industry-specific size standards based on either the number of employees or average annual revenue. These standards can vary, so it’s essential to check the SBA’s size standards for your industry.
  2. Business Type: Most for-profit businesses can qualify for SBA loans, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), and corporations. Nonprofit organizations are generally not eligible for SBA loans.
  3. Use of Proceeds: SBA loans have specific purposes, such as financing working capital, purchasing equipment or inventory, acquiring or expanding a business, or refinancing existing debt. You must demonstrate a legitimate need for the loan proceeds that aligns with the SBA’s guidelines.
  4. Creditworthiness: The SBA and participating lenders will evaluate your credit history and the creditworthiness of your business. While there is no specific credit score requirement, a good credit history, both personal and business, enhances your chances of approval.
  5. Repayment Ability: You need to demonstrate that your business has the financial capacity to repay the loan. This typically involves providing financial statements, cash flow projections, and other relevant documentation that shows your business’s profitability and ability to generate sufficient cash flow.
  6. Collateral and Personal Guarantee: Depending on the loan amount and program, collateral may be required to secure the loan. The SBA generally expects borrowers to use available business assets as collateral. Personal guarantees from owners with significant ownership stakes are also common.
  7. Business Plan: In some cases, you may need to provide a comprehensive business plan that outlines your business model, market analysis, financial projections, and other essential details. This is more common for startups or businesses seeking substantial loan amounts.
Q: Why would someone apply for an SBA loan instead of a traditional business loan?

A: There are several reasons why someone might choose to apply for an SBA loan instead of a traditional loan:


  1. Access to Financing: Small businesses, particularly those with limited collateral or a shorter operating history, often face challenges in obtaining traditional loans. SBA loans are specifically designed to support small businesses by providing access to financing that may be otherwise difficult to obtain.
  2. Favorable Terms: SBA loans typically offer more favorable terms compared to traditional loans. They often have longer repayment terms, which can help reduce monthly payment amounts and provide more flexibility for businesses. Additionally, SBA loans often have competitive interest rates, which can result in lower borrowing costs for the business.
  3. Lower Down Payment Requirements: SBA loans generally require lower down payments compared to traditional loans. For example, under the SBA 7(a) loan program, borrowers may be able to finance up to 90% of the project cost, reducing the initial cash outlay required.
  4. Collateral Requirements: SBA loans may have more flexible collateral requirements compared to traditional loans. While collateral is often required, the SBA allows borrowers to use a broader range of assets as collateral, such as business assets, real estate, and even personal assets.
  5. Guarantees and Risk Mitigation: The SBA provides a guarantee to lenders for a portion of the loan amount, reducing the risk for the lender. This guarantee encourages lenders to extend credit to small businesses that may have higher perceived risks. As a result, SBA loans can be more accessible to businesses that may not meet the strict criteria of traditional loans.
  6. Assistance and Support: The SBA offers support to borrowers through various resources, including counseling, training programs, and access to networking opportunities. This support can be valuable for small businesses, especially startups or those in need of guidance in areas like business planning, marketing, or financial management.

    It’s important to note that SBA loans do require a more involved application process and additional paperwork compared to traditional loans. The involvement of the SBA can result in longer processing times. However, for businesses that meet the eligibility criteria and can navigate the application process, SBA loans can provide significant benefits and opportunities for growth.

    Q: Do certain industries apply for SBA loans more frequently?
    A: Yes, certain industries tend to apply for SBA loans more frequently than others. While SBA loans are available to a wide range of industries, the loan programs may be particularly attractive and beneficial for businesses in specific sectors. Some industries that commonly apply for SBA loans include:
    1. Retail and Hospitality: Retail businesses, such as restaurants, hotels, franchises, and specialty shops, often seek SBA loans for working capital, equipment purchases, or expansion projects.
    2. Professional Services: Businesses in professional service sectors, such as accounting firms, consulting agencies, law practices, and healthcare providers, may utilize SBA loans for various purposes, including business acquisitions, refinancing debt, or expanding their operations.
    3. Construction and Contracting: Construction companies, contractors, and related businesses frequently apply for SBA loans to finance equipment purchases, working capital needs, and project financing.
    4. Manufacturing: Manufacturers often utilize SBA loans to support business growth, invest in equipment and machinery, expand facilities, or increase working capital.
    5. Franchises: Franchise businesses across various industries often rely on SBA loans to fund franchise fees, initial investments, and working capital needs.
    6. Childcare and Education: Businesses in the childcare and education sectors, such as daycare centers, private schools, and tutoring services, may use SBA loans for facility expansions, equipment purchases, or refinancing existing debt.
    These are just a few examples, and SBA loans are available to businesses in many other industries as well. The suitability of an SBA loan may depend on factors such as the specific loan program, the financial health of the business, and the purpose for which the loan is needed. Each industry and business has unique circumstances that should be considered when evaluating the appropriateness of an SBA loan.
    Q: How do you apply for an SBA loan with Triad Business Bank?

    A: Helena Reynolds: Senior SBA Specialist (336-473-2015 or and Erica Parker: Director of SBA Lending (919-592-5288 or

    Q: What is the debt service coverage ratio

    A: The debt service coverage ratio (DSCR) is a financial metric used to assess a borrower’s ability to cover its debt obligations, specifically the required principal and interest payments on outstanding loans. It measures the cash flow available to meet debt service requirements.

    The DSCR is calculated by dividing the borrower’s net operating income (NOI) by the total debt service. The formula for calculating DSCR is as follows: DSCR = Net Operating Income / Total Debt Service.

    Here’s a breakdown of the components:

    1. Net Operating Income (NOI): NOI represents the income generated by a business before deducting interest, taxes, and depreciation (commonly referred to as EBITDA: earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). NOI reflects the operational profitability of the business and its ability to generate sufficient cash flow.
    2. Total Debt Service: Total Debt Service includes all the principal and interest payments due on outstanding loans during a specified period. This typically includes monthly or annual loan repayments.

    The resulting DSCR value indicates how many times the borrower’s operating income can cover its debt service obligations. For example, a DSCR of 1.5 means that the borrower’s operating income is 1.5 times greater than its debt service requirements, indicating a higher level of cash flow available to meet the debt obligations. Here at TBB the DSCR is an important factor when evaluating loan applications. A higher DSCR value, such as 1.25 or above, is generally preferred by lenders as it indicates a stronger ability to service debt and suggests lower risk.

    The DSCR provides insight into a borrower’s financial stability and capacity to manage its debt load. It helps us assess the likelihood of loan repayment and provides a measure of risk associated with the borrower’s ability to generate sufficient cash flow for timely debt servicing.

    Q: What are some barriers to securing a traditional loan (lack of collateral, initial cash injection, etc.), and how do SBA loans help business owners overcome those?
    A: There are several barriers that small businesses may encounter when trying to secure traditional loans, and the Small Business Administration (SBA) aims to help overcome some of these barriers through its loan programs. Here are some common barriers and how the SBA addresses them:
    1. Limited Collateral: Traditional lenders often require collateral to secure a loan, which can be challenging for small businesses with limited assets. The SBA helps overcome this barrier by providing a partial guarantee to lenders, reducing their risk and allowing them to extend credit to businesses with less collateral. The SBA’s guarantee serves as additional collateral, increasing the likelihood of loan approval.
    2. Shorter Operating History: Startups and businesses with a shorter operating history may struggle to meet the requirements of traditional lenders who prefer businesses with established track records. The SBA recognizes this barrier and offers loan programs tailored to support startups and young businesses. For example, the SBA’s 7(a) loan program includes options specifically for startups and businesses in operation for less than two years.
    3. Higher Risk Profile: Small businesses, especially those in certain industries or facing economic challenges, may be perceived as higher risk by traditional lenders. The SBA’s loan guarantee mitigates this risk by assuring lenders that a portion of the loan will be repaid even if the borrower defaults. This guarantee encourages lenders to provide financing to small businesses they might otherwise consider too risky.
    4. Lack of Financial Track Record: Small businesses, particularly newer ones, may have limited financial history or may not meet the stringent financial requirements set by traditional lenders. The SBA takes a more flexible approach by considering factors beyond just credit scores and financial statements. They assess the borrower’s character, capacity to repay, and business potential, providing opportunities to businesses with promising prospects.
    5. Industry-Specific Challenges: Some industries, such as restaurants or retail, may face unique challenges that traditional lenders may not fully understand or be reluctant to finance. The SBA has loan programs that specifically cater to these industries, taking into account their specific needs and risks.
    Overall, the SBA overcomes barriers to securing traditional loans by providing guarantees, offering specialized loan programs, considering alternative eligibility criteria, and simplifying the loan application process. These initiatives make financing more accessible to small businesses that may face challenges in obtaining loans through conventional channels.
    Q: How do SBA lending programs level the playing field for minority-owned businesses?
    A: SBA lending programs play a significant role in leveling the field for minority and women-owned businesses by providing increased access to capital and resources. Here are several ways in which SBA lending programs support these businesses:
    1. Outreach and Education: The SBA conducts outreach efforts to ensure that minority and women entrepreneurs are aware of the available resources and loan programs. This includes workshops, training programs, and counseling services specifically designed to assist and empower minority and women-owned businesses.
    2. Access to Capital: SBA lending programs offer financing options that are more accessible to minority and women-owned businesses. The SBA’s 8(a) Business Development Program, for example, provides assistance to small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, including minority and women entrepreneurs. This program includes access to capital through the 8(a) Business Development loans, which are specifically targeted toward these businesses.
    3. Contracting Opportunities: The SBA helps minority and women-owned businesses by promoting their participation in government contracting. The SBA’s 8(a) Program also provides opportunities for these businesses to secure government contracts and gain experience, which can help them grow and thrive.
    4. Mentorship and Support: The SBA facilitates mentorship programs that pair minority and women entrepreneurs with experienced business owners who can provide guidance and support. These mentorship programs help minority and women-owned businesses navigate the challenges they may face and gain valuable insights to foster their growth and success.
    5. Certification Assistance: The SBA assists minority and women-owned businesses in obtaining various certifications, such as Minority-Owned Business Enterprise (MBE) or Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) certifications. These certifications can enhance their eligibility for government contracts and provide opportunities for business growth.
    6. Resources and Counseling: The SBA provides counseling, training, and technical assistance to minority and women-owned businesses through its network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Women’s Business Centers (WBCs), and SCORE chapters. These resources help entrepreneurs develop business plans, improve their financial management skills, and access market opportunities.
    7. Resource Partnerships: The SBA collaborates with various organizations, including minority and women’s business associations, to foster partnerships and expand resources available to minority and women entrepreneurs. These partnerships help create a supportive ecosystem that encourages and supports the growth of minority and women-owned businesses.
    By providing targeted programs, resources, and support, the SBA helps level the playing field for minority and women-owned businesses, addressing historical disparities and providing opportunities for economic empowerment and growth.
    Q: What are the main factors that SBA lenders consider when reviewing loan applications?
    A: When reviewing loan applications, Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders consider several key factors to assess the creditworthiness and eligibility of borrowers. While specific criteria may vary among lenders, here are some common factors they typically evaluate:
    1. Credit History: Lenders assess the borrower’s personal and business credit history, including credit scores, payment patterns, and any past bankruptcies or defaults. A strong credit history demonstrates responsible borrowing and increases the chances of loan approval.
    2. Business Plan: Lenders review the borrower’s business plan to understand the purpose of the loan, the viability of the business, and its potential for success. A well-developed business plan should include market analysis, financial projections, and a clear repayment strategy.
    3. Financial Statements: Lenders examine financial statements, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements, to assess the financial health of the business. They look for profitability, positive cash flow, and sufficient assets to secure the loan.
    4. Collateral: SBA loans often require collateral to secure the loan. Lenders evaluate the type and value of the collateral offered to mitigate their risk. Common types of collateral include real estate, equipment, inventory, and accounts receivable.
    5. Industry Experience: Lenders consider the borrower’s industry experience and management expertise. Demonstrating relevant experience in the industry increases the lender’s confidence in the borrower’s ability to manage and grow the business successfully.
    6. Cash Flow: Lenders analyze the borrower’s cash flow to determine if they can meet loan payments. Positive and consistent cash flow indicates the ability to generate sufficient revenue to repay the loan.
    7. Debt-to-Income Ratio: Lenders evaluate the borrower’s debt-to-income ratio, comparing the borrower’s existing debt obligations to their income. A lower ratio demonstrates better financial stability and increases the likelihood of loan approval.
    8. Equity Investment: SBA loans often require borrowers to contribute some personal equity investment. Lenders consider the borrower’s own investment in the business as a commitment to its success.
    9. Loan Amount and Purpose: Lenders assess the loan amount requested and the purpose of the loan. They evaluate if the loan amount is reasonable for the business’s needs and if the loan purpose aligns with SBA guidelines.
    10. Character and References: Lenders may consider the borrower’s character, professional reputation, and references. This can involve evaluating the borrower’s integrity, past business relationships, and industry reputation.
    While these factors are significant, each lender may have their own specific guidelines and priorities. It’s advisable to reach out to the SBA lender directly or consult with a financial advisor to understand their specific requirements and increase your chances of a successful loan application.
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