In addition to being SBA-approved, the lender’s familiarity with the small business market (your needs and challenges) and their ability to provide value-add services above and beyond loan processing is also something to look for when selecting a bank.
Depending on your needs and values, here are some questions to ask a potential SBA-lender:
- What are their loan processing times?
- How experienced are their SBA loan experts? Are they dedicated exclusively to the SBA loan market?
- Are they familiar with your industry and have they worked with similar businesses in the past?
- Can they give you strategic advice beyond the financials, even after the loan has closed?
- How accessible are their staff? What are their work/communication methods?
- How involved are they in the community? Do they give back?