San Antonio Express-News: Small businesses may get more help
Accion also announced Monday that the U.S. Small Business Administrationhas approved it as a lender under a new federal program that aims to increase the number of loans in underserved communities. Launched in February, the Community Advantageprogram guarantees 85 percent of loans made up to $150,000 and 75 percent for loans larger than $150,000. It is a three-year pilot initiative.
The designation allows Accion to make loans of up to $250,000 at all its offices; previously, the cap had been $100,000 in all cities except San Antonio.
Under the program, lenders are expected to maintain at least 60 percent of their SBA loan portfolio in underserved markets such as low- to moderate-income communities and new businesses. Accion said its clients typically have lower-than-average incomes, and about 46 percent of its clients have been in business less than one year.
Established locally in 1994, Accion provides loans to small-business owners who lack commercial credit. It has nine offices in Texas and four in Louisiana. It will add a lending service to Arkansas this year. It has made more than 12,000 loans during its existence totaling about $112 million.
The organization previously said it hopes to reach 20,000 loans by its 20th year, 2014. Accion offers loans from $500 to $250,000.
Express-News archives contributed to this report.