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Small Business Administration

Program Description


The Small Business Administration (SBA) has offices in every state that provide financing, training and counseling for small businesses. To be eligible for assistance, the SBA requires that a small business be independently owned and operated, not dominant within its field, and meet certain size standards and other eligibility requirements.

SBA programs do not specifically target brownfields – SBA policy states that the agency is not to participate in a project until cleanup and liability relief have been achieved. SBA programs may be used by small businesses for projects that affect redevelopment initiatives, provided that the small business meets SBA criteria for the particular loan program being pursued and obtains satisfactory protection from environmental risk through indemnification agreements or other measures.

SBA programs are available and relevant to small businesses in brownfields communities, and making SBA’s District Offices and other resource partners aware of this brownfields connection is an important SBA role. To this end, SBA commits to disseminating brownfields-related information to its District Offices and to all SBA technical assistance providers, such as the Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, and Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), about Superfund liability exemptions, the benefits of brownfields reuse, and EPA Brownfields Program grant availability.

Brownfields Connections


Financial Assistance

Section 504 Certified Development Company (CDC) Program

This program helps small businesses finance acquisition of land, buildings and machinery, as well as construction, renovation and expansion of existing facilities. This program would be appropriate to use to acquire a brownfield after cleanup is complete, or to establish a business on a site after cleanup. The program is operated through nearly 300 SBA-licensed CDCs nationwide.

Eligibility Requirements: Eligible entities include businesses that are operated for profit and fall within the size standards set by the SBA. Under the program, the business qualifies as small if it does not have a tangible net worth in excess of $7,000,000 and does not have an average net income in excess of $2,500,000 after taxes for the preceding two years.

Limitations: The program cannot be used for working capital or inventory, consolidating or repaying debt, or refinancing. Loans cannot be made to businesses engaged in speculation or investment in rental real estate.

Availability: The typical Section 504-supported loan is approximately $300,000.


Website: http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/small-business-loans/sba-loan-programs/real-estate-and-eq

Section 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program

This program aims to increase the amount of capital available to small businesses that would not otherwise be able to obtain financing through the commercial banking community and non-bank lending institutions. In addition, SBA has adopted a “Low Doc” (low documentation) approach to Section 7(a) loan guarantees to encourage more lenders to handle smaller SBA-backed loans of less than $150,000. The program features a two-page application and a rapid response from SBA.

Eligibility Requirements: Businesses that are considered for financing guarantees must meet SBA requirements. Some types of businesses are ineligible for financial assistance, which are listed on the program’s Web site.

Limitations: SBA does not fully guaranty 7(a) loans. The lender and SBA share the risk that a borrower will not be able to repay the loan in full.


Website: http://www.sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants/small-business-loans/sba-loan-programs

Technical Assistance

Office of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs)

SBDCs provide counseling and training to small businesses to develop and provide informational tools to support business start-ups and existing business expansion.

Eligibility Requirements: Eligible entities include existing SBDC recipient organizations.

Limitations: SBDC applicants are required to provide at least an equal amount of matching funds from sources other than the federal government.


Website: http://www.sba.gov/content/small-business-development-centers-sbdcs

Online Women’s Business Center

The center serves as a resource center for the Office of Women’s Business Ownership, which promotes the growth of women-owned businesses through programs.

Website: http://www.onlinewbc.gov/

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE)

SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneurial education and the formation, growth and success of small businesses nationwide. SCORE’s extensive, national network of 10,500 retired and working volunteers are experienced entrepreneurs and corporate managers/executives. These volunteers provide free business counseling and advice as a public service to all types of businesses, in all stages of development.

Website: http://www.score.org/

Malden, Medford, and Everett, Massachusetts

The cities of Malden, Medford and Everett are concentrated in an area five miles north of Boston, Massachusetts. They are known for the manufacturing and industrial activities centered around the Malden River and abutting railroads. The three cities have joined together on a project to construct a state-of-the-art telecommunications research and development park, called TeleCom City. In 2001, the U.S. Small Business Administration executed the release of a lien on a property to be donated to the Mystic Valley Development Commission for the Commercial Street/Corporation Way reconstruction. The current plan design calls for an initial phase of 331,200 square feet of office and research and development space and 200 units of housing on a 30 acre site in the Medford section of the project area.

Additional Information

Rachel Newman-Karton
Small Business Administration
409 3rd Street, NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC 20416

Main Website: http://www.sba.gov

Region 3 | Mid-Atlantic Cleanup | Mid-Atlantic Brownfields & Land Revitalization

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