In 2019, Dakota Business Lending began offering their services to small businesses in rural Montana under the SBA 504 Loan Program Rural Initiative Pilot Program (504 Rural Pilot). Since then, the feedback they have received from this program indicated a significant need and opportunity to open up their services to all small business throughout the state, not just in rural areas. Today, Dakota Business Lending is excited to announce that they are officially a multi-state CDC and have expanded into the entire state of Montana.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the 504 Rural Pilot program in 2018, which allows Certified Development Corporations (CDCs) like Dakota Business Lending to make 504 loans outside their original Area of Operations to businesses located within rural areas of the same SBA region as the operating CDC. Behind Dakota Business Lending’s implementation of the 504 Rural Pilot program was the desire to help bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and the delivery of the SBA 504 loan to entrepreneurs. By providing small business owners with creative financing solutions like the SBA 504 loan program, Dakota Business Lending can assist entrepreneurs throughout the state in pursuing their dreams of starting or expanding their own small business.
Dakota Business Lending’s Montana office operates from Lewistown, Montana under the direction of Commercial Loan Officer, Christie Williams. Williams joined the Dakota Business Lending team for three years in 2012 until moving back to her home state of Montana with her family. She was welcomed back to Dakota Business Lending in 2018 to help jumpstart the 504 Rural Pilot program throughout the state. She has worked tirelessly throughout the year reaching out to lenders, economic developers and other partners to share information about the program and work with potential borrowers on their financing needs.
A separate loan committee for Dakota Business Lending’s Montana office has also been created, comprised of representatives from various sectors in business, lending, and economic development throughout the state of Montana.
The SBA 504 loan program is designed to help small businesses preserve cash by offering lower down payment options than conventional financing (starting as low as 10% down) as well as reduce risk by providing a below-market, fixed interest rate for 10-, 20-, or 25-years for the purchase and improvement of real estate or other long-term fixed assets. The program is a partnership with the small business, their primary lender and Dakota Business Lending to secure this type of financing.