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Business Lending During a Pandemic

Written by John Hanlon, Vice President - SBA Lending

The future ain’t what it used to be.” – Yogi Berra

John Hanlon

Clearly our vision of the future today is much different than what we were dreaming of even back in January of this year. The global COVID-19 pandemic is rapidly causing us to change our habits and our everyday lives. The work-from-home environment for traditional white collar jobs could change the need for office space in the future as companies might feel the benefits of working remotely outweigh the negatives. While there may be a need for an office space, maybe that space will be smaller and shared with other workers on a come-in-as-needed basis. Traditional brick and mortar retail stores, already under pressure from online sales, will have to adjust as well to draw customers back into their locations or increase their online selling ability.

In the financial world at the moment, most lending is either on a hold until things improve or funding is completed for Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program loans. As of May 1, the SBA, through lending institutions, has issued 3.9 million loans in excess of $524 Billion. Most conventional sources of funding are taking a wait-and-see approach while the SBA 7a and 504 loan programs are still active.

To help small business obtain loans through the SBA, the federal government is stepping in to make the first six months of payments on new loans until the end of September or until the funding runs out. That is a great start for anyone on the fence about buying a property for their business, refinancing debt, or buying a business. SBA loans also offer a low down payment option, typically between 10-15%, depending on property type and loan purpose. This combination of a lower down payment and historically low interest rates can help turn your business dream into a reality.

During past economic disruptions, people still started businesses, purchased property, and expanded their existing business. While it may take a while to get back to previous growth levels, there are still opportunities to be had. Our challenge is to remain creative to make it a win-win for our clients. All of us need to change how we have done business in the past and embrace new opportunities in the future.

“Change is the law of life and those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy

If you have any questions about how SBA lending can help you or your clients, reach out to us.



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