In recognition of the importance of small business to a strong economy, the National Business Association (NBA) has developed First Step Review to help meet the informational needs of existing business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.

First Step is a screening tool to help smaller businesses (with less than 100 employees and annual sales of less than $5 million) determine the likelihood of success in gaining a guaranteed loan. If you gain a score of 70 or more on First Step, then the next step would be to find a lender who is SBA certified for loans.

Loans come from local lenders, not the SBA; the SBA helps by guaranteeing a major portion of the loans to reduce the risk to lenders. Your local Small Business Development Development Center (SBDC), local SCORE chapter, or local SBA office should be able to help you find a local participating lender. (A listing of certified lenders is available. Your local SBDC, SCORE, or SBA office should also be able to help you gain a better understanding of the criteria and steps necessary to gain a loan.

First Step Review requires version 4.0 or higher of Internet Explorer or Netscape. (If you need to upgrade, these browsers are available for free at their Home pages.)

Please understand that First Step Review is a screening tool for you to prepare for visits to your lender. Your lender and the SBA will need clear evidence to support your answers, so overstating answers on First Step will not be in your best interest.

Contact Information:
Telephone: 1-800-456-0440
Locate a Provider: 1-800-800-7616

Have your NBA membership number available to receive your benefit.