LOS ANGELES—The SBA Green Program can qualify borrowers for $5.5 million per project for “green” property improvements, an increase of $500,000 from the standard SBA 504 loan. This is good news for owners of existing buildings, which are a focus for energy efficient practices, according to Peter Belisle, southwest market director at JLL. In an earlier story, Belisle emphasized the importance of spreading awareness to existing building owners, whose properties make up 97% of the total building stock. There are low-to-no cost initiatives these owners can make, but for larger green renovations, the SBA Green Program is a great alternative.
“The SBA Green Program is an incentive for a company to upgrade their facility with energy efficiency, and in return for that they get to borrow more money from SBA,” Barbara Morrison, CEO at TMC Financing, tells GlobeSt.com. TMC Financing’s L.A. office has secured numerous SBA Green Program loans for properties throughout the city and state. “Under the regular SBA 504 program, SBA lends up to $5 million in a second mortgage position; and a borrower can have as many SBA loans as they want, but they max out at $5 million total. If they qualify for green energy, two things change. First, they can borrow up to $5.5 million, and second, it is on a per-project basis, so each project can qualify $5.5 million,” she explains about the program.
For confidentiality reasons, Morrison couldn’t disclose the clients for whom they have secured loans; however, Morrison did discuss a loan they secured for 9to5 Seating, who used the SBA Green Program for its Los Angeles manufacturing facility. The company installed 500 solar panels, used recycled building materials wherever possible and received LEED-Gold certification.
To qualify for the SBA Green Program, property owners must either reduce energy by 10% or generate an additional 10% of green energy on site. “Most of our borrowers reduce their energy consumption by 10%,” says Morrison. “To accomplish that, we get an energy audit of their existing facility so they know what changes to make to decrease their energy consumption.” The SBA 504 green program also applies to the purchase of LEED-certified buildings.