Most of these loan programs are available from your bank, along with conventional financing. The terms, rates and security regulations favor a small business, and each fills a unique niche in the financing needs of an expanding industry.
Revolving Loan Fund
The Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester Council of Governments’ Revolving Loan Fund (RLF) is a locally controlled source of capital that assists start-up and growing businesses. The primary purpose of the RLF is to improve the region’s economy through the creation and retention of permanent full-time jobs. The RLF is most often used as “gap financing” to provide leverage for private sector loans and investments.
Eligible uses for RLF loans include the purchase of machinery, equipment, real estate and inventory, as well as the improvement of real estate and building facilities. Loans can also be used to provide permanent working capital on a limited basis. In general, loan terms will average three to five years on working capital, five to seven years on machinery and equipment, and up to 15 years on real estate.
RLF interest rates are fixed between Prime (+) 2 points and Prime (-) 4 points for the life of the loan based on the strength of the proposed project. The RLF can be used to finance up to one-third of the total project cost. In addition, a project must create or retain at least one job per $10,000 in funds borrowed from the Council of Governments. RLF loans may be subordinated to a participating lender. Financing is available in amounts up to $200,000.
Berkeley Charleston Dorchester Council of Governments
1362 McMillan Ave., Suite 100
North Charleston, SC 29405
(843) 529-0400 (office)
SBA 504 Loan Program
This is a loan program for fixed assets with a cap of $5 million. The interest rate will be negotiated with the lender, normally your bank. The loan must be secured and has a 10 to 20-year term. It requires 10% borrower equity, with the primary lender taking 50% of the loan and the SBA approving up to 40% funding using a secondary collateral position. The borrower must create one new job for every $50,000 loaned. This program has been successfully used for renovation or expansion of existing facilities using the net equity in a building to meet all or part of the borrower’s down payment.
Paul Thomas, Senior Area Manager
U.S. Small Business Administration
5900 Core Drive, Suite 403
North Charleston, SC 29406
(843) 225-7430 (office)
SBA 7(a) Program
SBA 7(a) Program: This loan can be used for fixed assets or working capital. The applicant must have been turned down for conventional financing. It is primarily a guaranty program for up to 75% of the loan with up to a 25-year term. No job creation requirement exists. The dollar range is from $150,000 up to $5 million (with $3.75 million maximum SBA exposure).
Business Development Corporation
PO Box 21823
Columbia, SC 29221
(803) 744-0301 (office)
(803) 744-0601 (fax)
SBA Microloan Program
The Microloan program provides loans up to $50,000 to help small businesses and certain not-for-profit childcare centers start up and expand. The average microloan is about $13,000. Microloans can be used for working capital, inventory or supplies, furniture or fixtures, and machinery or equipment.
The U.S. Small Business Administration provides funds to specially designated intermediary lenders, which are nonprofit community-based organizations with experience in lending as well as management and technical assistance. These intermediaries administer the Microloan program for eligible borrowers.
Charleston Local Development Corporation
75 Calhoun Street, 3rd Floor
Charleston, SC 29401
Other programs offered by the Charleston Local Development Corporation
- Small Business Incentive Loan
- Revolving Loan Fund (RLF)
- Rural Revolving Loan Fund (Rural RLF)
- Small Business Disaster Relief Loan Program
Industrial Revenue Bonds
The SC Jobs-Economic Development Authority is a conduit issuer of tax exempt Industrial Revenue Bonds. By offering a competitive interest rate and tax exempt income for the holder of the bonds, Industrial Revenue Bonds are an attractive means for manufacturing companies to finance the expansion of their business. Tax exempt IRB’s of up to $10 million may be used to finance fixed assets (total capital expenditures may not exceed $20 million). The maximum any company may have outstanding nationwide is $40 million at any given period. JEDA acts as a conduit by passing payments from the borrower to the bondholder. JEDA does not provide credit enhancement and no funds of the State of South Carolina or JEDA are at risk. Industrial Revenue Bonds are most cost effective for companies investing $2 million to $10 million. Bonds are approved and processed with involvement from the county and state. Bond counsel is required.
Harry A. Huntley, CPA, Executive Director
S.C. Jobs-Economic Development Authority
1201 Main Street, Suite 1600
Columbia, SC 29201
Ways borrowers can use the money for:
- Basic 7(a)
- International Trade Loan
- Export Working Capital Loans
- Seasonal CAPlines
- Contract CAPlines
- Builders CAPlines
- Working Capital CAPlines
- Dealer Floor Plan Pilot
- Lender Structured Line of Credit
- 504 Loan Program
- Microloan Program
Ways Lenders can request guarantees, explains the rules for lenders for various SBA-backed loans to borrowers.
- Standard Processing
- Certified Lender Program (CLP) Processing
- Preferred Lender Program (PLP) Processing
- SBA Express Processing
- Patriot Express Processing
- Export Express Processing
- Small/Rural Lender Advantage
- Community Advantage
- Small Loan Advantage