What is the SBA CAPIines Program?

This short-term loan program helps small businesses gain access to working capital when they need it. The different types of CAPIines available include: Seasonal Line (for businesses that need to adjust their capital because of their seasonality), Contract Line (capital needed to fulfill a contract); Builders Line (for general contractors and builders); and Small Asset Based Lines of Credit (based upon the assets of the company, up to $200,000).

What are the typical loan maturities for the lines of credit?

The loans can mature anywhere from a few months to five years, depending on the business's needs.

Who guarantees these short-term loans?

Anyone who owns more than 20% of the business may guarantee the loan.

What about other sources for small business loans?

Contact your local bank loan officer for information on business loans and lines of credit. Check with your state, city, and county economic development authority to find out what funds are available from these entities. Many cities, especially those in distressed areas, have set up programs that mix both private and public funds to help small businesses succeed. You may also search the Internet for sites that provide more specific information on local or regional programs.

How do small businesses finance their operations?

According to a survey by the SBA, 59% of small businesses finance their business through credit cards. 23% of those surveyed used four or more credit cards during the past year to finance their business.

How else do small business owners fund their companies?

In the same survey, 51% of respondents funded their business through the company's earnings, 45% had access to a bank loan, 30% received credit from a vendor, 19% obtained a private loan through friends or family, 7% used leasing, and 5% obtained an SBA loan.

What percentage of a small business owner's debt is credit card debt?

Thirty-four percent of respondents have more than 25% of their business debt on credit cards. Twenty percent of those surveyed paid interest rates of 20% or more per year to finance this debt.

Are small business owners happy with their credit card terms (interest rate, fees, credit limits)?

Seventy-nine percent of all respondents said that over the past five years, their credit card terms have worsened.

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