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New SBA tool seeks to connect entrepreneurs to capital

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced this week a free tool that seeks to connect entrepreneurs looking for a loan with lenders across the U.S.

The new tool, Levering Information and Networks to access Capital or LINC, was rolled out Wednesday. The process includes small-business owners filling out an online form with 20 questions.

“Once you fill out the form, your business information will be sent to participating SBA lenders who will contact you within 48 hours should there be a match,” the LINC website states. The information will also be sent to Small Business Development Centers, which provide free and low-cost training options, in the company’s area.

LINK will be rolled out in waves. The first phase seeks to connect entrepreneurs with nonprofit lenders that offer free financial advice and specialize in small loans.

In the longer-term, the SBA plans to add traditional banks and other financial products. As of Wednesday, LINC included 124 lenders that have made more than 42,000 SBA loans totaling more than $17 billion in 2009.

More information about LINC, can be found here.

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