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Why Join the Chamber?

Learn about the benefits of membership today!


When starting a business, one important consideration is where to obtain capital to back your venture. Most start-up businesses require a capital contribution by the entrepreneur, usually 20%. The remaining financing may be available from local banks or may require private investors. There are several Small Business Administration loan programs available to businesses, all of which require bank participation. These loan programs, however, are not guaranteed. They are all subject to change based on the SBA's current budget.


  • SBA Guaranteed Loan Program 7(A) This program provides financing to small businesses through guaranteeing a percentage of the bank's loan to the business. Eligible expenditures are for land and building, machinery and equipment, working capital, and some restructure of existing debt. The SBA will guarantee 75% to 85% of the loan dependent on the amount.
  • SBA 504 Loan Program This program provides financing for small businesses through a low interest, fixed rate, long-term loan. The Small Business Administration takes a second lien position behind the bank. Eligible expenditures are for land and building, long-life machinery and equipment. The amount that SBA will finance depends on what criteria and goals you are meeting through their program and what type of business you are pursuing.

While each of these programs has specific requirements for eligibility, there are certain standards that must be met for all loan programs. A loan applicant must be of good character, show the ability to operate a small business successfully, and have a reasonable amount of his/her own resources to invest to withstand possible losses. In addition, the following will likely be required:

  • Credit Report
  • Collateral adequate to secure the debt, list of collateral and its value
  • Appraisals required on real property used as collateral
  • Personal guarantees required of those persons (or companies with 20% ownership)
  • Secondary collateral may be required
  • Personal financial statements and financial statements of business (if applicable)

How to Apply

You must first seek financing from a bank or other private source.

If that is available at reasonable terms, the SBA cannot make the loan.

Take your business plan to your banker and discuss your financial requirements with him/her. His/her involvement is essential. Then, call the Small Business Development Center (J.C. Smith) at (770) 531-5681 to discuss the project’s eligibility for SBA assistance.

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Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber & Visitors Bureau  |  13 South Park Street  |  Dahlonega, GA 30533  |  (706) 864-3711 or (800) 231-5543