Small Business Loans

  • Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • SBA Illinois District Office
  • 500 W. Madison St., Suite 1150
  • Phone: (312) 353-4528
  • Fax: (312) 886-5688
  • Email:
  • Email:
  • Website:

Purpose of the Program

The SBA works with lenders to provide loans to small businesses. The agency doesn’t lend money directly to small business owners. Instead, it sets guidelines for loans made by its partnering lenders, community development organizations, and micro-lending institutions. Loans guaranteed by the SBA range from small to large and can be used for most business purposes, including long-term fixed assets and operating capital. Some loan programs set restrictions on how you can use the funds, so check with an SBA-approved lender when requesting a loan. Your lender can match you with the right loan for your business needs. In FY 2019, small businesses in areas defined as rural by the U.S. Census Bureau are eligible for fee relief on SBA-guaranteed 7(a) loans up to $150,000.

Who is Eligible

Lenders and loan programs have unique eligibility requirements. In general, eligibility is based on what a business does to receive its income, the character of its ownership, and where the business operates. Normally, businesses must meet size standards, be able to repay, and have a sound business purpose. Even those with bad credit may qualify for startup funding. The lender will provide you with a full list of eligibility requirements for your loan.

  • Be a for-profit business: The business is officially registered and operates legally.
  • Do business in the U.S.: The business is physically located and operates in the U.S. or its territories.
  • Have invested equity: The business owner has invested their own time or money into the business.
  • Exhaust financing options: The business cannot get funds from any other financial lender.

This program excludes gambling establishments, nonprofit enterprises, speculators in property, lending or investment enterprises, and financing of real property held for investment.

Application Process

Open-Applicants must provide a business plan which includes statement of personal history, a personal financial statement, company financial statements, a summary of collateral, and a resume. Business owners can fill out a short online questionnaire to be connected with an SBA-approved lender at

Availability of Funds

How Funds are to be used

Use of proceeds include working capital, seasonal financing, export loans, revolving credit, and refinanced business debt. The 504 Loan Program provides long-term financing for fixed assets such as furniture, real estate, machinery, equipment, construction, and remodeling. Certified Development Companies work closely with borrowers and banks to package, process, and service 504 loans.  Microloans are also available.

Types of Assistance


Year Program was established