The Small Business Lending Fund: A Small Jobs Act Program for Today

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A new lending program of the U.S. Treasury Department could end up helping your small business to access capital in a time when new small business lending is often hard to come by. This recently set up program, called the Small Business Lending Fund or SBLF, is helping some of America’s entrepreneurs to access money through their local banks and other local lenders.

What is the SBLF?

The Small Business Lending Fund was actually created in 2010 as part of the small Business Jobs Act. Barack Obama signed this law, which was intended to help jump-start the American economy and create jobs, in September of that year. In addition to setting up the Small Business Lending Fund, the law also involved various small business tax cuts, including an increase in the small business expensing limit to a total of $500,000.

Other tax effects included a temporary waiver for capital gains taxes on those investing in certain classes of small businesses, and expanded some kinds of startup deductions. All of it served the purpose of providing a shot in the arm, not just to the economy in general, but to those working to advance small domestic business operations which are often considered the green shoots of economic growth. While many of these items were temporary, the SBLF was not, and this program is still maintained by the Treasury Department in order to encourage available credit for small businesses.

Targeted Credit: How the Small Business Lending Fund Works

The provisions of the Small Business Lending Fund extend to businesses with less than $50 million in revenue and loans involving amounts of $10 million or less. Through the SBLF, the government delivers money to community banks with an ‘interest rate incentive’ – that is, the Treasury Department will discount the interest rate based on actual small business lending. Banks must grow their small business lending or face higher interest rates in subsequent years. The government also lends to Community Development Loan Funds or CDLFs, which help with various alternative loan structures like micro-lending.

Looking Up Local Lenders

As part of this provision to startup entrepreneurs and small business owners, the Treasury Department makes it easy to find out what institutions are receiving Small Business Lending Fund capital. Web users can simply click on an interactive map of the U.S. in order to find lenders in their states and local areas.

If you meet the guidelines provided by the Treasury Department for the Small Business Lending Fund in an FAQ page on the department’s site, take a look and see which of your local lenders has an established relationship with the U.S. government through this program, in order to have more information on your side when you network with lenders to get additional small business capital. Leveraging these kinds of carefully designed programs can make a big difference in how well your business is funded, and how impressive your lending history is to investors and others with the power to help you move forward.

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