Company is One of Three in the Nation to be Licensed After 40 Year Hiatus
Licenses Granted Only to SBA 7A Lenders Focused on Historically Underserved Markets
Little Rock, Ark. – Arkansas Capital Corporation, a partner of the SBA since the late 1950s working to provide long-term funding options to hundreds of small businesses throughout the state, today was named by the SBA as one of three new Small Business Lending Company (SBLC) licensees – the first expansion of the SBLC program in 40 years.
The SBLC designation will now allow Arkansas Capital to expand SBA 7a lending services nationwide. Initially, the company will focus on the states bordering Arkansas that contain nearly 40 percent of all persistent poverty counties nationwide. Persistent poverty counties are those with 20 percent or more residents living in poverty consistently for 30 or more years.
Since 2019, more than half of Arkansas Capital’s SBA lending has gone to businesses based in persistent poverty counties.
“For over thirty years, we have used the SBA 7(a) program to support small businesses in underserved areas of Arkansas where accessing capital is uniquely cumbersome,” said Arkansas Capital CEO Sam Walls. “Arkansas Capital has bolstered regional economic development, but now with this SBLC license, we can widen our SBA 7(a) footprint as well, expanding our services to rural and poverty-stricken areas in the South to start. We are honored that the SBA chose Arkansas Capital as one of the three recipients of this license, and we look forward to working with the SBA in the years to come as we seek to break down barriers to accessing affordable, reliable capital.”
SBA Administrator Isabel Guzman echoed Walls’s comments in today’s announcement. “Persistent barriers to capital, especially small dollar loans, still pose a challenge to many of the entrepreneurs who power our economy. The expansion of the SBA’s SBLC program after more than forty years is a monumental step forward in this crucial effort … the SBA will be able to serve even more small business owners who need capital to start, operate, and grow their businesses.”
SBLC licensees can utilize government guarantees to borrowers in all 50 states when underwriting small business loans to reduce the level of risk to the lender – and the cost to the borrower. Small business owners interested in Arkansas Capital’s SBA financing options are encouraged to visit the company’s website at arcapital.com/lendingservices, or call 501-374-9247.
To see the announcement from the SBA, click here.