The Small Business Administration wants small business owners in the Bethel region to know they can help. Nelida Irvine is a lending relations specialist with the small business administration and she visited Bethel last week.
The Small Business Administration is a federal office. They help small business by backing banks who lend them money. Even if credit is not good, they can guarantee the loans to the banks.
“Any business, as long as they meet the SBA criteria, that they have to be in business for profit and they have to be a small business based on SBA determination, they can actually apply to a loan guarantee loan program through a lender of their choice,” Ervine says. “And we have over 15 lenders that participate in our program here in the state of Alaska.”
Irvine says most of the local banks participate in the loan program.
“Small businesses can use the SBA loan process for pretty much any business project such as buying inventory, equipment,” Irvine says. “They can refinance an existing business debt. They can purchase commercial real estate. Here in Bethel, fishermen are also apply to SBA loans to purchase fishing vessels. You know, any kinds of business, any kind of small businesses can take advantage of this program.”
While in Bethel, Irvine visited the Chamber of Commerce and the SBA’s local office run by Christine Guinn. The Small Business Administration Center in Bethel can be reached at 543-0255.
They can provide trainings, counseling and mentoring to small businesses owners and others who are considering starting up a business.