Qualifying for the SBA Loan Program for Solar Energy and Conservation Enterprises

The SBA loan program for solar energy and conservation enterprises allows small businesses to become more eco-friendly which will, in turn, saves them money on their energy expenses. The Small Business Administration, or the SBA, is a government-sponsored agency that provides guarantied loans to help small businesses get off the ground and become and stay successful. Before you decide if the SBA can help you with your business, you should know the qualifications you need to possess in order to qualify for an SBA loan program geared toward solar energy and conservation enterprises.

Business Size Requirements

The SBA must initially approve your business based on its size. These size standards vary greatly from industry to industry and in some cases can include as many as 1,000 employees and have average annual receipts well into the millions of dollars. Even if you think your small business might be on the bigger side, it is worth checking to see if you still qualify for SBA loans.

Purpose of Funds

In order to obtain an SBA loan for solar energy and conservation enterprises, you must have a specific intent regarding how you will use the funds. A specific type of loan that makes up the loan program for solar energy and conservation enterprises is called the SBA Loan 7(a) and may be used to fund any green project that will improve your business's impact on the environment. Another specific type of loan is the SBA 504 Certified Development Company (CDC) loan. The 504 is designed for larger projects that will make significant changes to your business in its effort to become more green-oriented.

Types of Energy Saving Improvements

Both the SBA 7(a) loan and the SBA 504 CDC loan have been helping small businesses for years but only recently added environmentally-friendly projects to the list as acceptable uses of funds. Some of these specific energy saving improvements that you can fund with a SBA loan include: switching to energy-efficient appliances, changing all company cars to hybrid vehicles, putting in energy efficient windows and doors, increasing insulation in your business's building, installing solar panels for energy use or devices to harness wind power.

Things to Consider

When you are considering an SBA loan for your small business, make sure that you have a strategy for how your business will most effectively utilize the loan. Making your business greener can help you in a number of ways: your public image will improve, you will be helping to conserve resources, and you will be able to cut your energy consumption by a considerable amount thereby saving your business money. Because of the SBA's dedication to helping small businesses become more environmentally conscious, it is a great time to consider making your business green.