You may have reached this page due to new security upgrades that have been implemented regarding multiple user logins. For security reasons, only one user is able to be signed in to an account per session. If multiple users at a single site need online access, please contact email@example.com for firm access reduced pricing. If, however, you believe your login information has been compromised, please call customer service at 1-800-451-9998 to determine how to reset your password. Already a paid subscriber but not registered for online access yet? For instructions on how to get premium web access, click here.
Small loans still too big: Microlending fills gap in SBA-backed loan program
By Austin Light CHARLOTTE — When Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act in February, about $375 million was allocated to the U.S. Small Business Administration to alleviate the credit crunch. But some business owners, finding that SBA-backed loans are still too big, are turning to microlenders that offer small-scale financing. Under different circumstances, Summer Plum of Charlotte could be the kind of borrower Congress had in mind when it raised the cap on SBA’s lending guarantees. While the SBA doesn’t make loans, its microloan program — for loans up to $35,000 — guarantees commercial lenders 90 percent of the loans, which average $13,000. Plum runs Felicitea, a massage clinic and custom tea shop in Elizabeth at 360 N. Caswell St., and she could use a loan. Felicitea is a one-person business with low overhead, so Plum is looking for no more than $5,000. Most SBA-backed lenders, however, don’t offer loans lower than $10,000.