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Microloan Program

Business Loan and Grants


The Microloan Program provides very small loans to start-up, newly established, or growing small business concerns. Under this program, SBA makes funds available to nonprofit community based lenders (intermediaries) which, in turn, make loans to eligible borrowers in amounts up to a maximum of $35,000. The average loan size is about $13,000. Applications are submitted to the local intermediary and all credit decisions are made on the local level.

Terms, Interest Rates, and Fees:

The maximum term allowed for a microloan is six years. However, loan terms vary according to the size of the loan, the planned use of funds, the requirements of the intermediary lender, and the needs of the small business borrower. The maximum loan amount is $35,000, however, the average loan amount is around $13,000. Interest rates vary, depending upon the intermediary lender and costs to the intermediary from the U.S. Treasury. Generally these rates will be between 8 eight percent and thirteen percent.


Each intermediary lender has its own lending and credit requirements. However, business owners contemplating application for a microloan should be aware that intermediaries will generally require some type of collateral, and the personal guarantee of the business owner.

Technical Assistance

Each intermediary is required to provide business based training and technical assistance to its microborrowers. Individuals and small businesses applying for microloan financing may be required to fulfill training and/or planning requirements before a loan application is considered.

How to Apply:

Small businesses that are interested in applying for a microloan should contact a microlender in their area.

Microlenders (Intermediaries) are located in 46 of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Alaska, Rhode Island, Utah and West Virginia are the only states without an Intermediary. Rhode Island is currently being serviced by South Eastern Economic Development out of Taunton, MA and a portion of West Virginia is being serviced by Washington County Council on Economic Development out of Washington, PA. For an intermediary lender in your area click on the link below.

SBA Microloan Intermediaries

Information For Non-Profit Entities Seeking To Become Intermediary Lenders
Applying to become an Intermediary

Organizations interested in becoming Intermediaries should contact SBA for information on the application process, but generally applicants must meet three general criteria:

  • An applicant must be organized as a non-profit organization, quasi-governmental economic development corporation, or an Agency established by a Native American Tribal Governement;
  • An applicant must have made and serviced short-term fixed rate loans of not more than $35,000 to newly established or growing small businesses for at least one year; and
  • An applicant must have at least one year of experience providing technical assistance to its borrowers.

Applications should contain supporting information describing:

  • The types of businesses assisted in the past and those the applicant intends to assist with Microloans;
  • The average size of the loans made in the past and the average size of intended Microloans;
  • The extent to which the applicant will make Microloans to small businesses in rural areas;
  • The geographic area in which the applicant intends to operate, including a description of the economic and demographic conditions existing in the intended area of operations;
  • The availability and cost of obtaining credit for small businesses in the area;
  • The applicant's experience and qualifications in providing marketing, management, and technical assistance to small businesses;
  • Any plan to use other technical assistance resources (such as counselors from the Service Corps of Retired Executives) to help Microloan borrowers.

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