From the MASSAGE Magazine article, “Financing in a Challenging Economy, by Margo F. Bowman, in the April 2009 issue. Article summary: During times such as these, many of us wonder where the best path for our financial security lies. For massage therapists looking for loan approval or other financing, there are changes in our financial system to be aware of.

A Small Business Administration (SBA) resource guide available on its Web site ( details the Web loan options shown below:

1. SBA Express Term Loan
• Ideal for businesses that may not meet conventional lending requirements
• Flexible repayment options and longer terms than traditional loans
• Maximum loan of $350,000
• Fast turnaround
• Use the funds for working capital, equipment, inventory or real estate purchases, or to expand facilities

2. SBA Patriot Express Pilot Loan
• Loans for businesses owned by veterans, members of the military community and spouses of these groups
• Smaller credit requests, allowing for an expedited and streamlined application process
• Line of credit or term loan up to $500,000
• Ideal for businesses that may not meet the conventional lending collateral or cash flow requirements
• Often provide longer terms than conventional lending
• SBA guarantee limited to $1.5 million; $2 million maximum on the loan amount

3. 504 Development Company Loans
• Ideal for businesses able to create or retain one job for every $35,000 financed or meet certain public policy goals
• Provides growing businesses with long-term financing for purchasing land, constructing new buildings, expanding facilities or purchasing long-term machinery and equipment
• No working capital or debt repayment permitted
• Maximum 504 debenture sizes: $1.5 million for regular loans; $2 million for public policy loans; $4 million for small-manufacturer loans

—Margo F. Bowman