Crown Bank, a full service commercial bank with 15 branch locations throughout New Jersey, has gained recognition from the Small Business Administration (SBA) as a Preferred Lender Participant (PLP) for its 7(a) Loan Program. The upgraded status provides assurances that will allow Crown Bank to further expand and expedite the scope of its small business lending operations in the communities it serves.
Essentially, a PLP Lender is considered an expert in SBA regulations and guidelines and, as such, is granted the authority to act as a direct agent of the SBA. This means that small business loans approved by Crown Bank are automatically approved by the SBA. Non-PLP members seeking SBA benefits and protections for small business loans are required to gain separate SBA approval, a process that, often, can delay a loan’s availability.
For small business borrowers, loans backed by the SBA 7(a) Loan Program can be utilized for a variety of forward-thinking projects, including land acquisition and building purchases; renovation, conversion or expansion of an existing facility; building construction; and purchase of infrastructure, inventory and raw materials. 7(a) loans also can be used to start a business, or as leverage to improve leaseholds and/or working capital. Under certain conditions, these loans also can be employed to refinance outstanding debt.
7(a) Loan Program participants are privy to valuable investment leverage: the SBA guarantees individual business loans up to $5 million, which significantly reduces a lender’s risks pertaining to borrower repayment. The program also affords flexibility in loan structures based on PLP assessment of individual borrowers.
Several additional 7(a) Loan Program benefits are passed on to borrowers, allowing them to obtain financing that might not have been available elsewhere, as well as a fixed loan maturity rate even in instances of limited collateral.
Understandably, a set of qualifications are necessary to attain 7(a) Loan Program “PLP” status. The program is open only to for-profit businesses that meet SBA standards for overall size, nature of business, use of proceeds, and availability of credit from other sources, among other factors.
“Crown Bank’s new status as a Preferred Lender Participant in the SBA’s 7(a) Loan Program will allow us to provide faster, more far-reaching service to small business borrowers throughout New Jersey,” said Larry Kneip, Senior Vice President and SBA Director for Crown Bank. “We look forward to leveraging our enhanced relationship with the SBA into expanded financial services for our customers.”