Administrator Linda McMahon, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration, announced the rollout of Lender Match, SBA’s online referral tool that connects small business borrowers with participating SBA lenders. The program is an upgrade to LINC (Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital), which was introduced as a pilot in 2015.
“The SBA’s mission to help small businesses grow, create jobs and help our economy thrive is strengthened by the new Lender Match tool. It essentially serves as a matchmaker, making it easier for small businesses to find lenders,” McMahon said. “I want to help get more capital in the hands of small business owners and entrepreneurs, and I encourage them to tap into the SBA’s resources for start-up and growth solutions.”
SBA New Jersey District Director Al Titone said, “Lender Match brings together entrepreneurs and SBA lenders with the idea of giving the entrepreneur more accessibility to capital. It is an upgrade from the previous LINC program in its functionality, design and overall user experience, making it that much easier for entrepreneurs to use and connect with potential lenders.”
The free online tool allows small business owners to fill out a quick online form, without registration, and then connects them with lenders within 48 hours. “With fewer, but more relevant questions, lenders are now able to better filter the referral they receive, resulting in more viable matches,” added Titone. “Lenders can now optimize their search criteria to identify specific types of borrower referrals for particular lines of business or specialized financing.”
For entrepreneurs, Lender Match is now a much more user friendly and intuitive platform that helps provide small business owners with better guidance on how to prepare for the loan application process. Streamlining it from start to finish, now provides better access to on-screen information for the end user.
Once reviewing the information submitted by entrepreneurs, lenders who express interest in the loan will respond to the potential applicant within two days. In addition, borrowers will also receive counseling information and a list of local resources from the SBA to help them to perfect their loan proposal.
Lender Match is available to all SBA 7(a) and 504 lenders nationwide, including nonprofit lenders that offer free financial advice and specialize in micro lending, SBA’s Community Advantage loan program, and the SBA’s CDC/504 loan program. Only approved SBA lenders that are in good standing are eligible to receive borrower referrals.
Lender Match follows the SBA’s new digital media design with its clean and modern look, refreshed for easy use. It also contains a checklist of items for borrowers before talking to lenders that includes a business plan, credit history, collateral and financial projections that help to better understand the lending process. Prospective borrowers can visit www.sba.gov/lendermatch to get matched with any number of institutions and increase their access to capital.
There are currently more than 800 lenders in the SBA’s lending programs that participate in Lender Match throughout all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. To date, the online tool has made more than two million lender referrals, and lenders have followed up with more than 70,000 referrals, connecting potential small business borrowers to capital.Related Articles: