Skip to content
Subscriber Only

An Innovative Lending Fix for Small Businesses and Banks

When Kelly Kolterman went to Bank of America for a small business loan late last year, they sent her to her local Small Business Development Center. The owner of Redondo Beach (Calif.)-based JalaClothing, which specializes in yoga-inspired apparel, worked with the SBDC to develop a loan package and then got referred from one banker to another. Finally “one of those bankers knew of a friend who was involved in the startup” of SmartBiz, a six-month-old company that bills itself as the nation’s first online SBA loan application.

For Kolterman, stumbling onto the company’s website was like finding the Holy Grail: “It was awesome, fast, convenient, and they offered great rates,” says the entrepreneur, who applied, qualified, and got $25,000 for clothing production in less than a month. She was particularly impressed with the website, which features a sliding scale that shows exactly what the interest rate, term, monthly payment, and fees are for different loan amounts.