Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some commonly-asked questions about the SBA Micro Loan program:
Who is eligible for a Micro Loan?
For-profit businesses within Buffalo and Erie County that meet the Small Business Administration's size and type-of-business standards. This includes proprietorships, partnerships and corporations, whether they are start-up, newly-established or growing. No loans can be made to not-for-profits, media-type business, landlords, co-ops, religious organizations or for illegal activities.
How much can I borrow?
The program makes available loans up to a maximum of $50,000. First-time borrowers, however, generally will be limited to a loan of approximately $10,000.
What can the loan be used for?
Micro loans may be used to finance furniture, fixtures, equipment, inventory, materials and supplies. They may also be used for working capital. They cannot be used to purchase real estate or refinance existing debt.
Are the loans affordable?
Definitely. The competitive interest rate is fixed over the life of the loan, so budgeting for payment is easier. Loan terms vary according to the size of the loan, the planned use of the funds and the needs of the borrower, but may be as long as six years.
What is the Interest Rate?
Currently it is 4%.
Is collateral required?
Yes. Businesses contemplating applying for a micro loan should be aware that some type of collateral, as well as the personal guarantee of the business owner(s), will be required. Individuals and small businesses applying for micro loan financing may be required to fulfill training and/or planning requirements before a loan application is considered. Business-based training and technical assistance is available to borrowers through the SBA Micro Loan program.
How long does approval take?
Once the application is received, all information is verified and a personal interview has taken place, approval can be obtained quickly. Upon approval, a letter of commitment is sent to the borrower notifying him or her of acceptance. The loan closing date is scheduled pending preparation of final loan closing documentation, and must occur within 25 days of commitment date.
How do I apply?
Take our quiz to determine your eligibility for the program, then download the application. Complete the application carefully and completely, and mail it to us at 95 PerryStreet, Buffalo NY 14203. Please include all applicable paperwork and fees as indicated on the application. If you have any questions, or would like to set up an appointment, call (716) 856-6525.
Can the program help me with my business issues and problems?
The program is designed to help participants learn how to solve their business problems through a variety of technical assistance workshops and options. Please note, the program will not help run your business.
How do I get an application?
You can download an application by clicking here.