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SBA extends, enhances floorplan lending program

This week, the Small Business Administration will relaunch its Dealer Floor Plan Program, which was piloted in July 2009 for boat, auto, RV and other dealerships that use floorplan financing loans.

The new program, which will continue until Sept. 30, 2013, raises loan caps from $2 million to $5 million and provides a loan guarantee of 75 percent on floorplan lines of credit with a 100 percent advance rate.

"This new and improved SBA DFP Program will improve the flow of credit to the responsible marine businesses that really need it," said Thom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, in a statement. "We hope the program will attract a greater number and variety of lenders looking to create relationships with marine dealerships."

The majority of lenders servicing the industry left the marine market at the start of the economic downturn. Boat dealers had limited access or no access to critical business credit.

The NMMA has since worked closely with the SBA, House and Senate offices, and White House and Treasury Department officials to create, improve and enhance the floorplan program. Dammrich appeared before the Senate Small Business Committee last summer to urge that important changes be included.

As a result of these efforts, authorization for the relaunch of the program was included in the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, which was signed into law last fall.

"Dealerships are a cornerstone of local business communities," said Marie Johns, SBA deputy administrator, in a statement. "As we continue to see our economy recover, the relaunch of this pilot provides another tool, alongside SBA's other programs, to help them succeed and create jobs in their local communities."

Click here for the SBA fact sheet.

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