Ask The Expert: Curious how SBA loans help your business grow? | Sponsored Features

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Do you want to acquire a business? Purchase new equipment or machinery? Expand your business into a new market?

If so, then an SBA loan might be right for you.

“It’s good to think of SBA loans as expansion capital. The money can help take your business to the next level and supercharge your growth,” said First Oklahoma Bank President Thomas Bennett III. “It helps entrepreneurs with cash flow.”

First Oklahoma Bank has a long history of partnering with the Small Business Administration and offers different types of SBA loans, with the most common being the 7(a) loan.

Put simply, an SBA loan is a small business loan that is partially guaranteed by the Small Business Administration. Under the loan program, eligible borrowers can make lower down payments and receive longer loan repayment terms than they would with a traditional bank loan. Borrowers can finance real estate up to 25 years, equipment up to 10 years, and long-term working capital up to 10 years.

“Another common reason people look for SBA loans is a lack of collateral available to secure the debt. Banks typically require the value of the collateral to exceed the loan amount. This is not a requirement of the SBA,” said Ray Foreman, chief lending officer for First Oklahoma Bank.

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Thomas Bennett III, president

The 7(a) guaranteed loan program is the SBA’s primary lending program. The maximum loan amount for a 7(a) loan is $5 million. The SBA typically guarantees from 50% up to 85% of an eligible bank loan, up to a maximum guaranty of $3,750,000. The exact percentage of the guaranty depends on sundry factors.

To be eligible for the loan program, a small business must meet the following requirements:

Be engaged or do business in the United States or its possessions

Demonstrate a need for the loan

Meet the definition of a small business

Use the funds for a sound business purpose, among other criteria

Examples of eligible businesses include private medical facilities and equipment needs for dentists and other health care providers, pharmacies, heavy equipment franchises, owner-occupied commercial real estate, veterinarian practices, jewelry stores, technology, landscaping, attorneys, manufacturing companies, among others.

Ineligible businesses include non-profits, passive holders of real estate, pyramid sales, religious organizations, political or lobbying activities, businesses restricting patronage, finance companies, investment companies, to name some.

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Ray Foreman, chief lending officer

“For business owners looking to purchase real estate, buy out a business partner, expand, start or acquire a new business, an SBA loan from First Oklahoma is an excellent option,” said Foreman.

For more information, visit or call 918-392-2500. Member F.D.I.C.