If you don’t have an ARC loan, you’re not alone!
The America’s Recovery Capital (ARC) Loan Program was introduced in June 2009 by the US Small Business Administration “to provide up to $35,000 in short-term relief for viable small businesses facing immediate financial hardship to help ride out the current uncertain economic times and return to profitability.” Only 2715 loans had been approved through September 15 across the nation.
Catherine Clifford, writing in CNNMoney.com, explains that big lenders are foot-dragging or opting out from participating in this lending program altogether – there is a lot of paperwork for relatively little bank profit -“only” 2 percentage points over prime from the SBA to the banks. (So much for anything resembling gratitude for the TARP money we taxpayers gave the banks!). One of the biggest shockers she uncovers is how few lenders are participating – only 400 lenders as of September. The SBA lists those lenders participating in the ARC pr0gram as of October 5 by state on their site.
Even if you do find a lender who participates, the process is taking months to get a response. Ironic, when one considers how quickly billions went to bail out Wall Street.
So good luck! But don’t count on this program to be a panacea for your business.