Lehigh University
Small Business Development Center
Helping Businesses Start, Grow, and Prosper

Financing Assistance Program

The Financing Assistance Program (FAP) provides clients with:

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  • Information on bank and government lending programs.
  • Assistance in determining which loan program is most appropriate for them.
  • Help in the preparation of loan packages.

The FAP also conducts research to determine specifics about various financing packages and it produces financing guides for businesses in the Lehigh Valley. The FAP serves as a liaison between businesses and loan funds, banks, economic development agencies, the U.S. Small Business Administration, and the Pennsylvania Department of Commerce.

NOTE: "The U.S. Small Business Administration DOES NOT offer grants to start or expand small businesses, although it does offer a wide variety of loan programs... While the SBA does offer some grant programs, these are generally designed to expand and enhance organizations that provide small business management, technical, or financial assistance. These grants generally support non-profit organizations, intermediary lending institutions, and state and local governments."
See http://www.sba.gov/financing for more information.

Consulting

A major activity of the FAP is informing clients of financing options. Information on bank and government loan programs is readily available. Once a client determines the amount of funds needed, the FAP specialist identifies appropriate funding sources. With the assistance of FAP personnel, clients are enabled to structure a financial package utilizing various federal, state, and local programs to obtain the lowest possible blended interest rate. Clients are also helped with the development of an appropriate loan proposal with ratio analysis and cash flow projections.

Networking

The FAP specialist works closely with administrators of various alternate bank lending programs. Because of these contacts, clients are able to receive information about the newest developments in loan programs and to structure their loan package to obtain lower interest rates. Through an extensive network of contacts, the FAP specialist stays abreast of changes in financing program requirements as well as legislative changes affecting these programs.

Resources

The FAP staff conducts research on new financing programs and assists clients in obtaining information from these new sources.

Using FAP Resources and Assistance

In order to receive assistance from the FAP, clients first complete a Request for Service Form. The financing assistance specialist will then call and arrange a meeting. The counseling procedure may include several interviews and an on-site visit. After the FAP specialist evaluates the client's financial situation, a course of action is recommended.


Counseling services are completely confidential and free of charge.

News You Can Use

SBA eliminates their fees on SBA-supported loans

Good news for start-ups and existing businesses: Reduce the overall cost for financing. Effective October 1, 2013, SBA-supported loans less than $150,000 will have no SBA fee.

Please follow this link to read the article.

For more information on this announcement as well as assistance with seeking financing for your business, contact the Lehigh University SBDC by completing a Request for Service form.

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