RIVERSIDE, CA—Motivated by stabilized low rates, many small businesses in the Inland Empire are pulling the trigger on commercial real estate purchases using Small Business Administration (SBA) financing, according to CDC Small Business Finance.

Through the first four months of the year, CDC Small Business Finance approved $36.6 million in SBA-504 program financing to small businesses in the IE region.

“Rates are a factor, but recent SBA rule changes are making it easier for more small business entrepreneurs to qualify for SBA-504 financing to buy or construct their own facilities,” said Phil Mulder, Inland Empire loan officer with CDC Small Business Finance, the nation’s leader in SBA-504 loans.

Last month the SBA eliminated provisions that prevented small business owners with a high-net worth to purchase commercial real estate with a SBA-504 loan.

“These new changes will help more small businesses grow, create jobs and stimulate the economy,” said Mulder.

SBA-504 loans, provided in partnership between certified development companies and banks, help small businesses finance the construction or purchase of commercial/industrial buildings as well as large equipment. CDC’s most active bank partners to date in providing SBA-504 loans in the Inland Empire have been Union Bank, Security Bank of California and Bank of America.

Small businesses are also being made aware in SBA lending is the “Green 504” loan program, which allows higher lending amounts for small business owners who want to buy or upgrade commercial/industrial buildings and make them more energy efficient. Buildings over $20 million can be financed using this unique program offered jointly by a bank and CDC Small Business Finance. Small business owners need only demonstrate a projected 10% reduction in energy costs by deploying one or more energy-saving improvements (e.g. insulation, lighting, heating/air conditioning).

The current SBA-504 rate is 5.07%, fixed for 20 years. Several Northern California businesses have taken advantage of the SBA-504 loan program to buy their own building, preserve cash and build owner equity.