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Small Business Loans

In an uncertain business climate, Stearns Bank provides strength, stability and experience. Our team is ready to offer options and lend a helping hand.

As a U.S. Small Business Administration Preferred Lender, we're proud to help move small business forward every day. When a new opportunity finds you, contact us.

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Small business loans, SBA lending from Stearns Bank

Immediate Payment Relief of SBA 7(a) Loans

Through the CARES Act, the SBA will pay six months of principal, interest and fees owed on current SBA 7(a) loans that are in regular servicing. Contact your SBA lender to confirm that your loan qualifies.

For existing borrowers on deferment: After the deferral period ends, the SBA will pay six months of principal, interest and any associated fees.

See frequently asked questions: Implementation of Section 1112 Act Subsidy for Certain Loan Payments.

SBA loans - immediate payment relief

The Power Of The Portal

Submitting loan documents is transparent and convenient with the Customized Portal. Gathering and tracking the information you need for your SBA loan is simplified and keeps you connected to our experienced lending team.

The real-time technology, insight and peace of mind of the portal will create efficiencies that save you time and money. 


Going To Work For You

From start to finish and beyond, lean on us to make your SBA loan experience a great one.

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Among the 100 most active SBA 7(a) lenders in the U.S., we're highly experienced in the SBA loan process. 

Personal Service

Treating every customer like they're our only customer starts by answering on the first ring and connecting you to real people.


With easy access to in-house decision makers and preferred lender status, we won't hold up your SBA loan process. 


Listed in Trepp's top 20 banks best positioned to withstand a downturn in the economy, based on high capital ratios. 

Industries We Serve

See how Stearns Bank helps customers across many industries grow and thrive with innovative financing.

Renewable Energy

The Stearns Bank Difference

  • Check markLoans approved with speed and precision
  • Check markLoans up to $5 million approved in days
  • Check markIn-house approvals
  • Check markPreferred lender status
  • Check markCollateral options
  • Check markFlexibility to re-approve changing budgets
Revived Iron Auto Repair

Revived Iron Auto Repair

Dallas Nestvold
Stacy, Minnesota

Small-town life suited Dallas Nestvold when he decided to start Revived Iron Auto Repair in Stacy, Minnesota. A small-town approach to business loans from Stearns Bank also met his needs when he was looking for an SBA loan.

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BusinessSmart checking and market savings from Stearns Bank

Banking That Pays

Checking and savings accounts

Reach your business checking and savings goals faster with simple, smart and rewarding BusinessSmart™ accounts. Earn interest and cash back with the convenience of online and mobile banking.

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Minnesota SBA Lending Team

Get in touch with Tom Ethen
Tom Ethen
VP Commercial Lending
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Get in touch with Josh Villa
Josh Villa
VP/SBA Lending Manager
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Get in touch with Jane Litchy
Jane Litchy
Vice President/Regional Branch Manager
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Get in touch with Douglas D'Aigle
Douglas D'Aigle
Market President/Commercial Lender
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Get in touch with Al Schulz
Al Schulz
VP/Commercial Lender
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Get in touch with Joshua Borgerding
Joshua Borgerding
SBA Commercial Lender
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Get in touch with Bill Schmidt
Bill Schmidt
SBA Commercial Lender
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Arizona SBA Lending Team

Get in touch with Daniel Sedillo
Daniel Sedillo
VP/Commercial Loan Officer
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Get in touch with Katie Peterson
Katie Peterson
Commercial Lender
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Small Business Lending FAQ

Why should I choose an SBA loan?
SBA loans often require less borrower equity. SBA loans can greatly benefit small businesses that need capital for a start-up, expansion, inventory, buildings, equipment, exporting and other needs. Terms are typically 7 to 10 years and may be up to 25 years in situations involving real estate.
How much time is involved in the financing process?
Stearns Bank understands you’re busy and we’re committed to make your financing a simple process. Loans are approved with speed and precision. Loans greater than $350,000 are approved in a few days. With Stearns Bank, the application process is fast and simple. Just provide us with basic information about you, your business and your financing needs. We’re ready to fund when you’re ready to close.
How quickly will I receive my money?
You’re in control of the timeline. We have innovative tools available to speed up the process, including document review and sign-off using any device from anywhere you choose. The Stearns Bank Customer Portal provides drag-and-drop secure document submission along with full visibility, any time, to your SBA loan closing. With Stearns Bank, you control the pace to closing and you determine how quickly you want to receive the money.
How can I use the funds from my loan?
You name it. All types of business-related costs can be included in your SBA financing request. These costs include: start-up, acquisition, remodel, expansion, succession, real estate purchase, construction, equipment, leasehold improvements, inventory, working capital, franchise fees and debt refinance. Stearns Bank has decades of experience as a Preferred SBA Lender, so just call us and ask.
What down payment amount is required for an SBA loan?
The SBA loan program allows for a lower equity injection than many other financing options. Stearns Bank will work with you to find the right balance of capital and equity based on your business, your cash flow and growth plans.
What is the required collateral for an SBA loan?
If you’re financing the purchase of equipment or real estate with an SBA loan, that equipment or real estate will serve as collateral. Often, SBA loans can be secured without additional collateral outside of the business’s assets. Most small business loans can be extended without being fully secured by collateral. Stearns Bank, as a Preferred SBA Lender, has some discretion as to whether collateral is optional or required on some SBA loans.
Will I have a prepayment penalty?
Generally, no. Most SBA loans do not have a prepayment penalty, allowing you to manage the principal balance of your loan. SBA loans with a longer term may have a minimal prepayment penalty in the first three years. However, this only applies to loans with principal reductions of 25% or more.
What information do I need to provide to close on the loan?
Stearns Bank has developed an efficient process to speed up loan closing. We try to reduce documentation where we can to make things easier on our customers. Typically, you’ll need to provide your business information, organization documents, lease agreement (if leasing space for operations or production), insurance information and a construction quote (if building or expanding). The Stearns Bank Customer Portal provides an easy, safe and secure way to collect all documentation necessary to close the loan. This digital platform provides a detailed list of the documents needed with real-time updates on your loan progress as documents are submitted. With Stearns Bank, you’ll have the same experienced lending team that originated your loan assist throughout the closing process.
How do I apply for an SBA loan?
Quite simply, call and talk to us! Stearns Bank’s customized application and streamlined loan closing make the process easy. We understand your individual needs and we’re ready to work with you to Get the Job Done!
Are there fees associated with SBA financing?
There are typically fewer fees associated with an SBA loan compared to other conventional loans. This is due to SBA limitations on the amount and type of fees that can be charged to a borrower. With Stearns Bank, all fees are transparent and fully disclosed, so there are no surprises. And, these fees can be included in the financing package.
What if I have already spent money toward the project I’m looking to fund?
All fees must be included in the project cost. If money spent prior wasn’t included in the project cost, and now you have the expense, it’s not automatically given as equity credit. Project costs prior to receiving a loan are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
Will I be in contact with a loan officer throughout the finance process?
Yes! Personalized service is our commitment to you. At Stearns Bank, the same loan officer and loan team will work closely with you for the life of the loan. We understand every individual has a communication preference. Therefore, you can easily connect with your loan officer and other Stearns Bank team members by phone, by email or via the chat feature within the Stearns Bank Customer Portal – our digital platform for fast, secure communications and document submission. Additionally, Stearns Bank offers a best-in-class servicing team dedicated to help you for the life of your loan.
How do I decide which bank to work with for my SBA loan?
Working with a bank that has vast knowledge and experience with SBA loans, like Stearns Bank, is highly beneficial. We believe it’s critical that you understand and are comfortable with each step in your financing, from application to closing and beyond. Not all financial institutions do SBA loans the same way. Our goal is to do things quickly and efficiently. We provide our customers real-time updates with our Customer Portal. With the portal, we try to make our customers' lives a little easier by providing a transparent checklist to show what they have to do to close their loan. Stearns Bank has been providing SBA loans for decades and takes great pride in Getting the Job Done!
Is Stearns Bank an SBA Preferred Lender?
Yes. Stearns Bank has been a Preferred SBA Lender for decades. This designation means Stearns Bank has authority to make its own decisions on SBA loans, such as approving and closing, without having to go to the SBA for approvals, closing or funding. As a Preferred SBA Lender, Stearns Bank has been audited and approved by the SBA for the SBA Loan Program, meeting all eligibility criteria. The criterion includes proficiency in processing and servicing SBA-guaranteed loans. This designation allows Stearns Bank to source, approve and fund SBA loans to customers throughout the U.S.
Can I have more than one SBA loan?
Yes. There is no limit on the number of SBA loans you can have. The SBA Loan Program allows up to $5 million in SBA loans to any one borrower. This makes it easy and convenient to work with Stearns Bank on the initial and any future SBA loans, so we can help your business grow today and well into the future.
Are there differences in getting an SBA loan from one bank or another?
Yes. The bank you choose for financing will affect the time it takes to approve and close your loan. There can be considerable differences in the execution, delivery and servicing of an SBA loan. Stearns Bank is a Preferred SBA Lender, highly experienced in all types of SBA lending. We streamline and expedite the SBA application-to-funding process. SBA loans through Stearns Bank save you time and money by making your SBA experience flexible, fast and simple.

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