BENTONVILLE, Ark. To help support small business and its business members, Sam's Club announced that it is testing an online program with Superior Financial Group, the Nation's leading Small Business Administration (SBA) lender, which would make $5,000 to $25,000 loans available to its members who qualify. In a November 2009 state of small business survey conducted by Sam's Club, nearly 15% of its business members reported being denied a loan to run their operation, up from 12% in April 2009, the company reported.
According to Sam's Club, the program will focus on serving the needs of minority-, women- and Veteran-owned small business owners as well as micro-entrepreneurs under the SBA's Premier Outreach Express products such as Community Express, Patriot Express and Export Express loans.
"Access to capital is a major pain point for our members and the small business Main Street community. We believe this pilot program is a step in the right direction to help fuel small business growth and create jobs to stimulate our economy. It's also simple to apply and costs less, which is consistent with our goal to help our members make smart choices and provide superior value," said Catherine Corley, VP membership at Sam's Club.
Sam's Club members who apply for a small business loan online during the pilot will receive a $100 off the application fee, a 20% discount and a 7.5 APR, which is 25 basis point discount, the company reported. The terms of the loans will remain at 10 years. There is no penalty for early repayment.
While the majority of the Sam's Club small business loan pilot program is to be delivered online, Sam's Club said it will test some in club communication and other marketing efforts to reach business members and small business owners.