MaryBeth Matzek: New SBA program connects lenders, businesses online

This is an excerpt from a column posted at BizOpinion.

Business funding options could just be a few clicks away from entrepreneurs thanks to a new online lending tool launched by the Small Business Administration.

The SBA’s Leveraging Information and Networks to Access Capital or LINC tool asks potential borrowers to fill out an online form filled with 20 questions that lenders want answered, including basic business information, how much is requested, wand hat the funds will be used for. The SBA then sends that information to participating borrowers, who will then follow up with the business owners.

“People are on their computers all the time and it made sense to create a place online where business owners can easily access information about prospective lenders,” says Mary Trimmier, lead economic development specialist for SBA’s Wisconsin District Office. “The SBA looked at this and talked with lenders and it seemed to be a good fit.”

The program was launched in mid-February. Nationwide, there are 124 lenders, including five in Wisconsin. So far, Trimmier says all of the Wisconsin lenders have received leads on prospective customers.

Read the full column