Small business loans expanded throughout Florida
The South Florida District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has updated the agency’s Microloan Program by expanding its loans to more small businesses in Florida through the Black Business Investment Fund of Central Florida (BBIF).
SBA’s Microloan Program, which is focused on startups, minority and other underserved markets, provides loans up to $50,000 to help small businesses and certain not-for-profit childcare centers with their start up and expansion expenses. These Microloans play an important role in distressed communities where access to conventional lending remains a challenge. The average microloan size is approximately $13,000.
Previously, BBIF provided microloans only throughout the North Florida District and three counties within the South Florida District’s territory.
“However, due to successful performances in BBIF’s portfolio, the SBA has granted their firm the ability to lend through the entire state of Florida, which is a win-win for businesses and consumers alike,” said SBA South Florida District Director Francisco “Pancho” Marrero. “This access opens the doors to business ownership by making loans accessible to a broader segment of our population who might not traditionally qualify for a bank loan. We look forward to working with them in their expanded capacity to assist Florida’s small businesses.”
Headquartered in Orlando, BBIF is Florida’s largest small business lender providing capital for African-American and minority businesses. Since 1988, BBIF has provided over $43.9 million in loans to over 365 businesses.
SBA’s Microloan Program provides small businesses with small short-term loans for working capital or the purchase of inventory, supplies, furniture, fixtures, machinery and/or equipment. SBA makes funds available to specially designated intermediary lenders, which are nonprofit organizations with experience in lending and technical assistance. These intermediaries then make loans to eligible borrowers.
Applications are submitted to the local intermediary and all credit decisions are made on the local level.