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Choosing the right SBA program for your business

The Small Business Administration can be a maze if you don’t know what you are looking for. There are numerous programs that have different focus areas and goals and just because one SBA program is not relevant to you does not mean the SBA is not a good place for your business.

Below are some suggested programs that you may want to look at depending on the characteristics of your business and the type of financial support you are seeking. If none of the below categories seem to fit well with your needs, we recommend you start by looking at the most general and popular offering which is the 7(a) program. And of course, ensure you meet the SBA and the program’s definition of what is a small business as that will help you avoid wasting time and effort.

A List of SBA Programs for Small Businesses

Below is a list of SBA programs that business owners should review. Based on your type of business, the background of the business owner or your reason for need, one or multiple of these programs may be relevant. Once you find one or several programs that are relevant, you can find information about that specific program later in the Brain’s Guide to SBA Financing.

Type of Business, Business Owner or Need Suggested Programs/Loans
Bad credit Microloan and CDC/504 programs
Contractors Surety Bond Guarantee program
Economically disadvantaged 8(a) loan and HUBZone programs
Minorities 8(a) loan and HUBZone programs
Quick money and Good credit Community Express program
Veterans Patriot Express Pilot Loan Initiative and 8(a) loan programs
Women SBIC, 7(a) loan, 8(a) loan and Microloan programs, Office of Women’s Business Ownership (OWBO)
Small loans for start-ups Microloan, Surety Bond Guarantee and 7(a) loan programs
Loans for asset purchases, working capital, leasehold improvements 7(a) loan program
Loans for fixed assets CDC/504 loan program
Loans for damages due to disasters SBA Disaster Assistance Loan program