How SBA loans are building stronger businesses and communities

Library | 9/25/2019

Store openWhen your business begins to grow, it can feel both exciting and intimidating. Increasing demand creates new opportunities, but it can also present new challenges—particularly around financing. Thankfully there are more options available to finance your business today than ever before. And an SBA loan may be just the thing to kick-start your growing business.

­Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are designed with a different set of requirements. The SBA is a US government agency designed to help entrepreneurs and small business owners meet their financial goals. Business owners can use SBA 7(a) loans—the flagship product of the Small Business Administration--for a variety of business needs, including buying property and equipment, refinancing debt, and acquiring a business.

“There are a lot of loan requests that do not fit conventional guidelines,” says Chris Kneer, Senior Vice President and Division Head of SBA Lending at Valley Bank. “SBA Lending allows a bank to fill that void and help local businesses grow.  When they grow, they hire more employees and purchase more equipment or inventory. It is a cycle that benefits the whole economy, but often starts with an SBA loan.”

Borrowers can get an SBA loan for as much as $5 million. Reasons business owners may choose to go with an SBA 7(a) loan over conventional business loans is because they offer longer repayment terms, require less money down, and have flexible collateral requirements.  

Valley Bank, headquartered in Wayne, New Jersey, with additional locations in Florida and Alabama, has built one of the most successful SBA lending programs in the state of Florida, and is now expanding that program to New Jersey and New York.

Kneer has helped hundreds of business owner acquire SBA loans to fund their businesses over a 20-year career, and has built a team in Tampa, Florida that’s been recognized as the Top SBA lending team in the region and one of the top programs in the country.

“By expanding our SBA Program to New York and New Jersey we’ll be able to provide capital to more local businesses,” says Kneer. “Valley has a great reputation in these markets, an existing client base, and a strong network of branches and lenders. The opportunity is huge, and we’ve brought on new team members in New York and New Jersey to take the lead in these markets.”

Valley has designated September SBA Month, celebrating the success of local small businesses throughout the month. From eyewear companies to breweries and coffee shops, Valley’s SBA program has helped numerous companies start and expand their business. Throughout the month of September, Valley is even waiving a $2,500 packaging fee that is common with SBA loans.

“Fees can sometimes hold business owners back from making important decisions about their business,” says Kneer. “By waiving this fee, we want local businesses to know we care about their success. Our SBA borrowers are not just a transaction to us. We want to be a bank that provides every service a business needs to be successful.”
To learn more about Valley Bank’s SBA program, go to