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  • Writer's pictureLori N. McCausland

Lori McCausland: a proud SBA 7(a) Geek

SBA Loan

For almost my entire career in banking, new projects were handed to me to learn, build initial processes, and then train everyone else.  

So I wasn’t surprised when I was thrown into the deep end back in 2006, when the bank where I was working laid off the only SBA-knowledgeable employee. We had a few SBA loans in process, and I got to figure out how to submit them for approval.

I’d come from 30 years of mortgage lending – a very regulated field. But then I’d accepted a position in commercial lending, which, let’s just say, has a lot fewer rules. So when the opportunity came to get into a program with more guard rails – meaning, of course, SBA loans – I was excited.

SBA compliance definitely has those guard rails and rules. But each small business is unique, with its own challenges and special gifts. Learning new things, getting to know the business, and finding a structure that works for them, is lots of fun – and definitely not boring!

I wish more people recognized that the SBA really does want to help small businesses. It’s not a fluff program – and they’re not afraid to be a firm parent, so to speak, when necessary. 

And that’s another aspect of lender SBA consulting that I geek out on: providing SBA training for our lender clients, watching the training wheels come off as they build an awesome program, or helping a lender who didn’t follow the rules and got into trouble. And then there’s the forensic digging, the missing pieces of files, reports out of balance – it’s like a big jigsaw puzzle that I get to help assemble.

At the end of the day, I love it when our clients are amazed with our work. Honestly, it’s not that hard for me – and I love helping lenders feel successful and less anxious about their SBA program.

So yes, maybe it’s weird that I geek out on SBA training, SBA compliance, reviewing clients’ SBA portfolios, and generally all things SBA. But I’m proud to claim the SBA Geek title!


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