Near the end of September 2010, President Barack Obama signed a Small Business Bill into effect. The new bill set aside $30 billion for small business lending. The law also includes $12 billion in tax breaks for small companies. This bill was signed into effect as a response to the 9.6 unemployment dissent in America. President Obama and the administration signed the bill to demonstrate an effort to decrease the unemployment levels in the United States. President Obama hopes that the loan will create as many as 500,000 new jobs within the next couple of years.
Small Business Jobs Act 2010 Changes
The Small Business Jobs Act includes the Recovery Act Loans Extension that provides $14 billion in lending support. Small Business Administration (SBA) Recovery loans will be extended under the law with a 90% guarantee and reduced fees. At the time that the bill was signed, 1,400 small businesses were waiting for funding. Since the signing of the Recovery Act, 70,000 Recovery loans have been supported. Over $680 million dollars have created $30 billion in lending support.
The bill supports higher loan limits, and the maximum loan sizes increased in the pre-established loan programs. The new bill also increases the 7(a) and 504 loan limits from $2 million to $5 million. Manufacturers may receive up to $5.5 million. The 7(a) loan program is one of the most flexible loan programs offered for start ups and existing small businesses. Most of these loans are gained through commercial lending institutions. The 7(a) loan program includes an Export Loan program and a Rural Lender Advantage program. Some businesses will be able to refinance and incorporate their commercial real estate mortgages into the 504 loan program. However, this only applies to owner occupied units.
Microloan limits increased from $35,000 to $50,000. These loans are designed to help entrepreneurs with large start-up companies and small businesses owners in underserved communities. The new bill also increases small business eligibility for SBA loans. They make this possible by increasing the “alternate size standard” to small businesses with less than $15 million in net worth. This also applies to those businesses with less than $5 million in average net income. The law also increases the amount of Small Business Administration (SBA) Express loans from $350,000 to $1 million. Working Capital and Commercial Real Estate Refinancing received temporary enhancements to assist small business owners.
The tax cuts include the following:
– More Deductions for Start Ups
– Deductions for Cell Phones provided by the Employer
– Self Employed Health Insurance Deductions
– Penalty limitations for small business tax reporting errors
– Accelerated or Bonus Depreciation
– Provisions for up to Five Years of Net Operating Losses
– Up to $500,000 for Small Business Expenses: The Highest Expense Ever
Fees Associated with the SBA Loans
Fees are assessed to offset the costs of the SBA loan to the taxpayer. Lenders are charged a guaranty fee and servicing fee for each approved loan loan. The fees are a percentage of the amount loaned to the borrower. The lender may charge the guaranty fee upfront. However, the borrower is not responsible for the lender’s annual fee.
ARC Loans are small business loans that do not carry any associated fees. In the past, the fees for loans were between 1% and 3.5% of the total cost of the loan. ARC loans offer 100% guaranty from the SBA to the lender. No fees are required to be paid to SBA. Many of these loans are provided over a six month period. The repayment of the principal of the loan may be deferred for 12 months after the final disbursement of the loan. Repayment may last as long as five years. The best candidates for this type of loan are companies that have been profitable in the past, but are currently struggling. These companies may have begun to miss payments recently because of financial hardship. These funds may be used to make payroll, buy inventory or improve core operations.
Lenders will be charged an annual fee of 0.55 percent of the guaranteed portion of 7(a) loan. The fee will only be assessed to the balance of the loan and not the entire loan amount.
Borrowers will pay an annual fee of 0.749 percent on the outstanding balance of the 504 loan. This amount increased from 0.389 percent. Loan interest rates may not exceed 4.75% and may be as little as 2.25% when negotiated through a bank.
How Long is the SBA Loan Process?
Since the Small Business Administration is a guarantor and not a lender, the amount of time required to approve the loan will vary. The Small Business Administration attempts to reach its decision within seven to 21 business days from the receipt of the application. To accelerate the process, applicants should have several components of their application in place.
The length of time it takes for the SBA to respond to the application depends on the loan program your business elects to apply to. A business plan with financial statements is required for all loan programs. Earnings projections and collateral offerings must be established. In general, the SBA microloan is the least time consuming application and will be approved the fastest. The maximum loan amount was increased to $50,000. The funds cannot be used to buy property or pay debt.