The US Government offers small business loans in a number of different categories, information on which can be found at US SBA Loan Program. SBA provides loans to businesses — not individuals — so the requirements of eligibility are based on aspects of the business, not the owners. As such, the key factors of eligibility are based on what the business does to receive its income, the character of its ownership and where the business operates.

SBA generally does not specify what businesses are eligible. Rather, the agency outlines what businesses are not eligible.  However, there are some universally applicable requirements. To be eligible for assistance, businesses must:

  • Operate for profit
  • Be small, as defined by SBA
  • Be engaged in, or propose to do business in, the United States or its possessions
  • Have reasonable invested equity
  • Use alternative financial resources, including personal assets, before seeking financial assistance
  • Be able to demonstrate a need for the loan proceeds
  • Use the funds for a sound business purpose
  • Not be delinquent on any existing debt obligations to the U.S. government

The loan program most used for small businesses such as restaurants is called the SBA 7(a) Loan Program.

Owner Insights
My high beverage sales, particularly at quieter times, really help to keep my labor cost down.
Irish Pub Operator | CALIFORNIAView Owner Insights
Fun Facts

Bill Barich. American author, on being asked: "how come you can find an “Irish pub” in any city in the world?", replied: "They’re tremendous money-makers. There’s this whole concept of the Irish pub, anywhere you go in the world, you find one."

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