Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced yesterday that it is testing an online program with Superior Financial Group to offer small businesses loans between $5000-$25,000 to its members. The decision to offer these small business loans came as a result of a November 2009 survey, in which nearly 15 percent of Sam’s Club’s business owners reported being denied a loan to run their operation.
According to the official press release, “the Sam’s Club small business loan pilot program is a first-of-its kind and will complement other offerings that cater to small business including low rate merchant credit card processing, convenient order-ahead programs and early shopping hours.”
Sam’s Club members who apply for a small business loan will receive $100 off the application fee, a 20 percent discount and a 7.5 APR, which is a 25 basis point discount. (NOTE: The Sam’s Club Membership fee is $35/year.)
PRN Funding’s Take:
It’s a good thing that Wal-Mart is trying to fill a business loan gap with their pilot program, however, the loans are backed by the Nation’s leading Small Business Administration (SBA) lender. Therefore, there will still be stringent lending criteria that a small business owner will need to meet in order to qualify. This is bad news for brand new businesses and companies who have less than three years of operation.
Still, there’s hope, as small business owners can test out accounts receivable factoring to help fill in the cash flow gaps. Even if a small business owner has been turned down by a traditional lender, accounts receivable factoring firms will be able to fund them.