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Small Business Resource Directory

The resource directory helps national banks and federal savings associations (collectively, banks); small business entrepreneurs; and other financing entities access resources to facilitate loans, investments, technical assistance and other services to small businesses through government, foundations, nonprofits, and other organizations’ programs, initiatives, and partnerships.

The information is organized under the following categories:

Small Business Administration 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program
This loan guaranty program is designed to help eligible small businesses obtain bank financing when they might not qualify for traditional financing. Loan proceeds may be used for most business purposes, including working capital, machinery and equipment, furniture and fixtures, land and buildings, leasehold improvements, and debt refinancing. Banks can request guaranties through different procedures, based on the lender’s experience and comfort with Small Business Administration (SBA) products and procedures, the lender’s level of authority provided by the SBA, and, in some circumstances, the size, type, and complexity of the loan being guaranteed.

  • Standard 7(a) loan processing is used by lenders originating a small number of SBA loans annually or by lenders with less familiarity with the program. Lenders submit a full application package when they request SBA guaranty. The SBA confirms the credit decision of the originating lender with its own analysis of the application.
  • The Accredited Lenders Program and Premier Certified Lenders Program is for experienced SBA lenders with a performing portfolio. The SBA provides expedited loan processing and services under this program. Lenders submit a full application package, just like in Standard 7(a) loan processing. Rather than reanalyzing the materials, the SBA confirms the credit decision of the originating lender.
  • The Preferred Lenders Program is used by the most experienced SBA lenders. Preferred lenders have delegated authority to process, close, service, and liquidate most SBA guaranteed loans without prior SBA review.
  • Express programs are processed similarly to the Preferred Lenders Program. Qualified lenders have delegated authority to make the credit and eligibility decisions. The program allows lenders to use, to the maximum extent practicable, their respective loan analyses, procedures, and documentation. In return for the expanded authority and autonomy provided by the program, lenders agree to accept a maximum SBA guaranty of 50 percent.
  • Loans of $350,000 or less may be processed under 7(a) Small Loans. The lender can prescreen applications by electronically submitting certain information to the SBA. A credit score is issued. If the application receives an acceptable credit score, the borrower can use a shorter and simplified application for guaranty. The SBA offers a number of specialized lending programs under the 7(a) umbrella program.

Community Advantage
Community Advantage is a pilot initiative aimed at increasing the number of SBA 7(a) lenders that reach underserved communities. Community Advantage is available to community-based, mission-focused financial institutions, such as community development financial institutions, SBA Certified Development Companies, and SBA nonprofit microlending intermediaries, that previously were unable to offer SBA loans. The program makes loans up to $250,000 with a maximum SBA guaranty of 85 percent (based on loan size). Lenders must maintain at least 60 percent of their SBA loan portfolios in underserved markets.

International Trade Loan Program
This program offers up to $5 million in term loans with a maximum 90 percent SBA guaranty for the acquisition, expansion, or improvement of fixed assets to businesses that plan to enter and expand into international markets. The program also offers these loans to those adversely affected by competition from imports and need to modernize to meet foreign competition. Loan proceeds must enable borrowers to be in a better position to compete.

Specialized Lender Programs That Allow Loans to Be Structured as Revolving Debt

CAPLines is an umbrella program that helps small businesses meet their short-term and cyclical working-capital needs. The program was revised in 2011 to help more small businesses finance contracts through an SBA revolving line of credit, providing a path to avoid high-interest rates. There are four distinct loan programs under the CAPLine umbrella: Contract Loan Program, Seasonal Line of Credit Program, Builders Line Program, and Working Capital Line Program.

SBAExpress is designed to increase the number of smaller SBA loans by offering limited paperwork and processing times. The SBA’s turnaround time is within 36 hours. Qualified lenders may make SBA eligibility determination. The program provides a 50 percent guaranty and has a maximum loan amount of $350,000. The program is open to current SBA lenders meeting certain performance standards, or non-SBA lenders with a proven track record in small ($50,000 or less) business loans.

Export Express
Export Express offers a streamlined method to obtain an SBA loan or line of credit for up to $500,000. The SBA’s turnaround time is within 24 hours. The SBA guaranty ranges from 75 percent to 90 percent depending on loan size. It is the simplest export loan product offered by the SBA and allows participating lenders to use their own forms, procedures, and analyses.

Export Working Capital Program
This program provides lenders with up to a 90 percent guaranty on export working capital loans for businesses that can generate export sales and need additional capital to support those sales. Maximum loan amount is $5 million.

Other SBA Loan Programs

Certified Development Companies/504 Loan Program
This program promotes economic development by providing small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for the acquisition of major fixed assets for expansion and modernization. A lender partners with a certified development company (CDC), a specialized SBA-certified nonprofit corporation, to finance small businesses looking to expand. Each partner makes a loan to a qualifying small business. Typically, the lender’s loan is secured by a first lien covering 50 percent of a project’s total cost. The CDC’s loan is secured by a second lien for up to 40 percent of the project’s cost and is also backed by a 100 percent SBA-guaranteed debenture. The borrower contributes equity of at least 10 percent of the project’s cost. While there is no limit to total project size, the maximum CDC loan (up to 40 percent of total project costs) for most businesses is $5 million; for manufacturers, it is $5.5 million.

SBA Microloan Program
This program assists women, low-income, veteran, and minority entrepreneurs, and other small businesses in need of financing in amounts of $50,000 or less and business-based technical assistance. The average microloan is $13,000. The SBA makes funds available to specially designated intermediary lenders, which are nonprofit, community-based organizations with experience in lending as well as management and technical assistance. These intermediaries make loans to eligible borrowers and require a 15 percent non-federal, non-borrowed cash match.

Small Business Investment Companies (SBIC)
SBICs are privately owned and managed companies licensed by the SBA. The primary benefit of becoming a licensed SBIC is that once approved, the SBA provides a two-to-one public/private-funding match on the required minimum private capital, thereby leveraging the investor’s initial equity contribution. An SBIC uses its own capital, plus funds borrowed with an SBA guaranty, to invest in qualifying small businesses. Under 13 CFR 120.10, banks may invest up to 5 percent of their capital and surplus in SBICs.

U.S. Department of Agriculture: Business and Cooperative Programs

Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program
This program helps create jobs and stimulate rural economies by providing financial backing for rural businesses. This program provides SBA guarantees up to 80 percent. Loan proceeds may be used for working capital, machinery and equipment, buildings and real estate, and certain types of debt refinancing.

Community Facilities Program
This program provides affordable funding through loans, grants, and loan guarantees to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. Water and environmental projects include water systems, waste systems, solid waste, and storm drainage facilities. Community facility projects develop essential community facilities for public use in rural areas and may include hospitals, fire protection, safety, as well as many other community-based initiatives.

Intermediary Relending Program
The program is designed to alleviate poverty and increase economic activity and employment in rural communities. The program provides 1 percent low-interest loans to local lenders or intermediaries. These revolving loan funds are used to assist with financing business and economic development activity to create or retain jobs in disadvantaged and remote communities. Intermediaries are encouraged to work in concert with state and regional strategies, and in partnership with other public and private organizations that can provide complementary resources.

Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS)
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) RBCS office provides financial assistance for rural businesses and funding assistance for nonprofit organizations or CDCs that lend to rural businesses in their local areas.

Rural Business Investment Program
USDA licenses newly formed for-profit entities as Rural Business Investment Companies (RBIC) to help meet the equity capital investment needs in rural communities. Under 7 CFR 4290.50, banks may invest up to 5 percent of their capital and surplus in RBICs.

U.S. Department of Treasury

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund
The Treasury Department’s CDFI Fund expands banks’ capacity to provide credit, capital, and financial services to underserved populations and communities in the United States. One of the CDFI Fund’s program is the New Markets Tax Credit Program, established by Congress in 2000 to spur new or increased investments into operating businesses and real estate projects located in low-income communities. The program attracts investment capital to low-income communities by permitting individual and corporate investors to receive a tax credit against their federal income tax return in exchange for making equity investments in specialized financial institutions called community development entities.

Internal Revenue Service Small Business Portal
This portal provides answers to small business tax questions, plus access to forms, publications, a video library, an event calendar, and other tools and products.

Federal Resources to Increase Small Business Exports brings together resources from across the U.S. government to assist U.S. businesses in planning their international sales strategies and succeed in today’s global marketplace.

Export-Import Bank of the United States
Ex-Im Bank is the official export credit agency of the United States and assists in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets. Ex-Im Bank does not compete with private sector lenders but provides export financing products that fill gaps in trade financing. Ex-Im Bank helps to level the playing field for U.S. exporters by matching the financing that other governments provide to their exporters. Ex-Im Bank provides working capital guarantees (pre-export financing); export credit insurance; and loan guarantees and direct loans (buyer financing), as follows:

  • The Working Capital Loan Guarantee Program provides 90 percent guarantees on working capital loans made by commercial lenders that will help businesses to grow international sales and compete more effectively in the international marketplace.
  • The Supply Chain Finance Guarantee, offered to lenders, benefits U.S. exporters and their suppliers through accounts receivable financing. The program is designed to inject liquidity in the marketplace and provide suppliers, particularly small businesses, with access to capital faster and at a lower cost than through conventional lenders.
  • The Medium and Long-Term Loan Guarantee Program provides guaranteed term loan financing to creditworthy international buyers for purchases of U.S. goods and services.
  • The Direct Loan Program provides fixed rate loans to creditworthy international buyers for purchases of U.S. goods and services.
  • The Finance Lease Guarantee Program provides guaranteed lease financing of U.S. goods and services to creditworthy international lessees when financing is not otherwise available or applicable interest rates are not economically viable.
  • Export Credit Insurance allows small businesses to increase export sales by limiting international risk, offering credit to international buyers, and enabling greater access to access working capital funds.

U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) 
DRC's small and medium-enterprise financing is available for businesses with annual revenues under $250 million. DRC also provides medium- to long-term funding through direct loans and loan guaranties to eligible investment projects in developing countries and emerging markets. The financing supports large-scale projects that require large amounts of capital, such as infrastructure, telecommunications, power, water, housing, airports, hotels, high-tech, financial services, and natural resource extraction industries. DRC also provides long-term working capital and multiple-year capital expenditure programs. The amount of capital needed for any project can be greater than one bank can provide on its own because of per-project limits or diversifications guidelines. In such cases, DRC works with other co-lenders, if necessary, to bring sufficient resources to a given project.

Small Business Administration Export Products
The Small Business Administration provides a number of resources to support small business exporting, including:

  • The Export Express program offers flexibility and ease of use to borrowers and lenders. It is the SBA’s simplest export loan product and allows participating lenders to use their own forms, procedures, and analyses. The SBA’s goal is to answer questions in 36 hours or less. Maximum loan amount is $500,000.
  • Export Working Capital Program provides lenders with up to a 90 percent guaranty on export working capital loans, so that lenders will make the necessary export working capital available. Maximum loan amount is $5 million.
  • The International Trade Loan Program offers term loans of up to $5 million for the acquisition, expansion, or improvement of fixed assets to businesses that plan to start or continue exporting or that have been adversely affected by competition from imports. The loan’s proceeds must enable the borrower to be in a better position to compete for international trade.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

  • USDA International Marketing Program
    This program offers an array of services that give buyers and sellers of agricultural products a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

  • USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Export Credit Guarantees
    This program underwrites credit extended by the private banking sector in the United States to approved foreign banks using dollar-denominated, irrevocable letters of credit to pay for food and agricultural products sold to foreign buyers. The programs encourage exports to buyers in countries where credit is necessary to maintain or increase U.S. sales but where financing may not be available without the guarantees.

OCC Publications

Community Developments Insights Reports

  • Bankers' Guide to the SBA 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program  
    This report describes how lenders can use the SBA 7(a) program to meet the needs of creditworthy small business customers.
  • Commercial Lending in Indian Country: Potential Opportunities in an Untapped Market  
    This report discusses the specific approaches that bankers active in this market used to accommodate some of the unique business and legal challenges, including the use of several federal programs that are available to manage the risks in tribal commercial and business development.
  • New Markets Tax Credits: Unlocking Investment Potential
    This report examines the primary risks, benefits, and regulatory considerations associated with new market tax credits. The report discusses the ways in which bank investors structured and managed these credits effectively. Banks have been active participants in the New Market Tax Credits Program, because of the ability to generate competitive economic returns and the opportunities that new markets tax credit investments present for positive CRA consideration.
  • SBA's and Export-Import Bank's Working Capital Loan Guarantee Programs
    This report examines two federal loan guarantee programs that help lenders and business borrowers finance the export of goods and services.
  • SBA's Certified Development Company/504 Loan Program: Small Businesses' Window to Wall Street
    This report provides an overview of the SBA’s 504 Loan Program, which is used to finance long-term assets, such as owner-occupied commercial real estate and heavy machinery, at competitive rates.
  • Small Business Investment Companies: Investment Option for Banks
    This report describes SBICs, how banks can use SBICs to expand their small-business finance activities, and what risks and regulatory considerations are involved.
  • USDA’s Business and Industry Guaranteed Loan Program
    This report provides an overview of the program, which guarantees a portion of loans made by banks and their approved lenders to eligible businesses located in rural areas.

Community Developments Investments Newsletters

  • Extending Credit in Indian Country
    This issue highlights best practices, challenges, and Community Reinvestment Act treatment of investments, service, and credit extension made by national banks and federal savings associations in Indian Country.

Community Developments Fact Sheets

Advisory Letter 2003-8, “Financing Minority Businesses” (PDF)
This issuance identifies activities and practices that assist national banks in supporting the financing needs of minority-owned businesses.


How Community Banks Can Finance Small Business Exporters
The OCC held a teleseminar that focused on the Export-Import Bank Working Capital Guarantee Program and the SBA’s Export Working Capital Program. To support the National Export Initiative and to educate community bankers about these programs for small business exporters, the OCC brought together experts from the Export-Import Bank and the SBA and the chief executive officer of a community bank that uses both programs to provide listeners with information on how the programs work.

OCC's Rural Development
The OCC held a teleseminar on financing rural development.

Small Business Investment Companies: An Investment Option for Banks
The OCC held a teleseminar that focused on the SBA’s SBIC program. The program includes information on how SBICs operate, their past performance and risk considerations, and how banks may receive CRA consideration for their SBIC investments.

SBA 504 CDC Loan Program
The OCC held a teleseminar that focused on the SBA 504 CDC Loan Program. As a follow-up to the OCC’s release of the CD Insights report titled “SBA 504 Loan Program: Small Businesses' Window to Wall Street,” the agency brought together 504 practitioners and an examiner to provide interested listeners with information on how the program operates

Federal Counseling and Training Assistance

SBA Small Business Development Centers
The SBA administers the Small Business Development Centers Program to provide management assistance to current and prospective small business owners. The centers offer one-stop management and technical assistance to individuals and small businesses.

Senior Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)
The SBA originally sponsored the now-independent SCORE to assist in providing technical assistance, advice, and mentoring to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. SCORE is a nonprofit association with over 10,000 volunteer business counselors in 389 chapters throughout the United States.

SBA Women’s Business Center
This center is a national network of over 200 educational centers designed to help women start and grow small businesses.

SBA Veterans Business Outreach Centers
This program is designed to provide entrepreneurial development services, such as business training, counseling and mentoring, and referrals for eligible veterans owning or considering starting small businesses. The SBA has organizations across the country participating in this cooperative agreement and serving as Veterans Business Outreach Centers.

U.S. Export Assistance Centers
Each U.S. Export Assistance Centers is staffed by professionals from the SBA, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, and other public and private organizations. They are designed to be a one-stop shop of export assistance for small- or medium-sized businesses.

SBA Office of Native American Affairs
This office develops initiatives that provide Native Americans with access to business development resources, training, and services in their communities. The office focuses on economic development and job creation through small business ownership and education and works with individual and tribally owned organizations; other federal, state, and local agencies; nonprofit organizations; and national Native American organizations.

Minority Business Development Agency
The agency encourages the creation, growth, and expansion of minority-owned businesses and provides technical assistance to minority-owned businesses through agency workshops, conferences, and direct technical assistance provision. The agency funds business development centers around the country to assist with the start-up, expansion, and development of minority-owned firms.

Native American Business Development 
The Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development’s Division of Economic Development offers management training, entrepreneurship training, and procurement assistance to native businesses on Native American reservations.

Office of Women's Business Ownership
The office has helped numerous women start building successful businesses through programs that address business training and technical assistance, and provides access to credit and capital, federal contracts, and international trade opportunities. The office provides a women’s business ownership representative in every SBA district office, a nationwide network of mentoring roundtables, and women’s business centers in nearly every state and territory. The office also established women-owned venture capital companies and the Online Women’s Business Center.

Community Development Financial Institutions
This website provides a description of programs offered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s CDFI Fund. CDFIs are specialized, mission-driven financial institutions that create economic opportunity for individuals and small businesses, quality affordable housing, and essential community services throughout the United States. CDFIs typically provide training and technical assistance to improve their borrowers’ skills. CDFIs offer lending services and can be a helpful resource for small business borrowers looking for smaller loan amounts, borrowers that have less experience, or borrowers that have slightly higher-risk profiles.

Opportunity Finance Network
The network offers a national CDFI coverage map to locate CDFIs.

SBA Business Smart Toolkit
This ready-to-use workshop toolkit is designed for local community organizations with constituents interested in starting new businesses but do not know where to begin. The toolkit explains how to get started, become credit-ready, and find resources.

Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation: Money Smart for Small Business
This curriculum offers a variety of training modules and other resources for those interested in starting and managing small businesses. The modules are designed to be delivered to aspiring or existing small business owners by staff from financial institutions, small business development centers, women's business centers, city/county economic development offices and others.

Farm Credit
The network supports rural communities, including farmers, ranchers, agriculture producers, rural infrastructure providers, and rural families with reliable, consistent credit and financial services.

Entrepreneurship Development

U.S Economic Development Administration, Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The office manages several grant competitions for States, Indian tribes, public private partnerships, economic development organizations, and other entities focused on improving science, technology, innovation to launch companies, scale technologies, and create jobs. In addition, the office leads the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

SBA Office of Entrepreneurship Education
This office provides education, resources, and tools to help small businesses succeed.

e2 Entrepreneurial Ecosystems
This organization helps communities increase prosperity through entrepreneur-focused economic development and ecosystem building across North America.

Edward Lowe Foundation
The foundation provides resources to “second-stage companies”—companies that (1) have grown past the start-up stage but have not yet reached maturity; (2) have enough employees to exceed the comfortable control span of one owner or chief executive officer; (3) benefit from adding professional managers but do not have a full-scale professional management team.

Kauffman Entrepreneurs
This organization provides resources for small business owners. The website offers a search engine to find articles, program information, and contacts for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

International Business Innovation Association
This association was established to advance business incubation and entrepreneurship and provides information, education, advocacy, and networking resources to bring excellence to the process of assisting early-stage companies worldwide.

Sirolli Institute
This institute uses enterprise facilitation to grow local economies. Sirolli is a social enterprise that teaches entrepreneurs, corporations, governments, and community leaders how to capture the passion of their communities and use the intelligence of local people.

United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
This organization advances knowledge and fosters business development through entrepreneurship education and research.

Procurement Resources

National Minority Supplier Development Council
The council provides a direct link between corporate America and minority-owned businesses and was chartered to provide increased procurement and business opportunities for minority businesses of all sizes.

Small Business Administration
The agency offers resources to help small businesses access government contracts, including written materials, contract assisting programs, and counseling.

U.S. Department of the Interior's Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization
The office advocates for small businesses and is dedicated to maximizing contracting opportunities to federal, state, and local governments. Its mission includes outreach to small and disadvantaged business communities, including Indian economic enterprises and women-owned, veteran-owned, service-disabled, and veteran-owned small businesses in historically underutilized business zones (HUBZone) areas, and the Ability One Program.
Launched in 2004, this resource provides access to information on federal loan programs. is a collaborative effort across federal agencies, with the U.S. Department of Labor serving as the managing partner. Information specific to small businesses can be found using the “search” feature.

Assistance to Technical Assistance Providers

Small Business Development Center National Information Clearinghouse
The clearing house’s mission is to support the business research and information needs of the nation’s network of more than 1,000 Small Business Development Centers (or SBDC Network) and their small business clients. The clearing house provides business research assistance directly to official SBDC Business Advisors. The clearing house also maintains a public access website.

Resources for Small Business Lenders

National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders
The association serves the government guaranteed lending community, primarily through advocacy and technical information about the SBA 7(a) Loan Program.

Coleman Publishing
This site provides useful information on two key federal loans program for small businesses—the SBA 7(a) and 504 programs.

National Association of Development Companies
This is the trade association for the nation’s CDCs. The association’s members are nonprofit organizations that have been certified by the SBA to provide financing to small businesses through the SBA 504 loan program.

Venture Capital

Small Business Investor Alliance (SBIA)
This is an association of lower middle market funds and investors. The association advocates for appropriate regulation and smart tax policy, campaigning for federal laws, regulations, policies, and low-cost capital that support SBICs and others in their ability to invest long-term debt and equity venture capital in small businesses.

National Association of Investment Companies
This is the largest network of diverse-owned private equity firms and hedge funds. Member companies invest in privately held minority-owned businesses that have a high probability of growth and the ability to generate significant returns for investors and shareholders.

Community Development Venture Capital Alliance
This is a network for community development venture capital investing. The network promotes using venture capital tools to create jobs, entrepreneurial capacity, and wealth to advance the livelihoods of low-income people and the economies of distressed communities.

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