Go Green to Qualify for Additional SBA 504 Financing.
Small businesses looking to grow and expand their operations through the purchase of commercial real estate and “go green” can benefit the environment and their bottom line with up to 90% fixed interest rate financing under the SBA’s 504 Green Loan Program offered through Florida First Capital.
The Secret to Financing Multiple SBA 504 Projects
Business owners who qualify for SBA 504 financing may be eligible for multiple SBA 2nd mortgages of up to $5.5 million per 504 green friendly project; however, the outstanding gross debentures issued for a small business concern, including its affiliates, must not exceed $16.5 million in the aggregate. These amounts are NOT reduced by any other outstanding SBA financing (7a, Community Advantage, regular 504).
Additionally, there is no limit on the amount of the 1st mortgage of a 504 project and therefore no maximum project size. In many cases, qualified borrowers with projects exceeding $20 million can still obtain up to 90% financing.
Benefits of the 504 Green Loan Program
- Up to 90% financing at below-market, fixed interest rates – No future interest rate fluctuations.
- Up to $5.5 million on the SBA 2nd mortgage portion per project not to exceed $16,500,000 in the aggregate.
- Total projects from $125,000 to $20 million+.
- 10- and 20-year amortization terms available.
- Associated fees and soft costs can be financed in the loan (architectural and engineering fees, appraisals, closing costs, etc.).
Eligible Use of 504 Green Loan Proceeds
The following green initiatives are eligible for up to $5.5 million per project of SBA 504 financing provided they reduce energy consumption by at least 10% or generate at least 10% renewable energy:
- Energy Reduction – The project must be a new facility that is replacing an existing facility or a retrofit of an existing facility and include energy saving technologies. Examples of energy saving technologies include improved insulation, lighting, HVAC systems and energy efficient windows.
- Renewable Energy – Plant, equipment and process upgrades of renewable energy sources (solar, wind, turbine, thermal) used to run a facility or renewable fuel producers, including bio-diesel and ethanol producers.
NOTE – Sustainable Design (LEED) Certification qualifies as a general SBA Public Policy Goal only (up to $5 million aggregate limit per borrower) and does not meet the SBA’s Green Public Policy Goal of up to $5.5 million per project.
Owner Occupancy Requirements
- Existing Buildings – Business must occupy at least 51% of the project within one year of ownership.
- New Construction – Business must occupy at least 60% of project upon occupancy and 80% within 10 years.
- The borrower may form a real estate holding company that leases 100% to the operating business, which then subleases surplus space (up to 49%).
NOTE: 504 loan proceeds may not be used to finance working capital.