Bentonville, Ark. Sam's Club said Tuesday it will offer small business loans of up to $25,000 to its small business members. The chain testing a program with Superior Financial Group, one of 13 federally licensed nonbank lenders, and will offer $5,000 to $25,000 loans to members who qualify.
The program will focus on minority-, women- and veteran-owned businesses.
Sam's Club members who apply for a small business loan during the pilot will receive $100 off the application fee, a 20% discount, and a discount on interest rates.
Businesses can pay $35 for a membership to Sam's Club that includes three annual membership cards that allow them to shop at 600 Sam's Clubs in the U.S. Sam's Club offers other memberships to consumers and businesses that cost as much as $100 annually depending on the features included.
Sam's Club said 15% of its business members reported they were denied a loan in a November survey, up from 12% in April 2009.
"Access to capital is a major pain point for our members," said Catherine Corley, VP membership at Sam's Club. "We believe this pilot program is a step in the right direction to help fuel small business growth and create jobs to stimulate our economy. It's also simple to apply and costs less, which is consistent with our goal to help our members make smart choices and provide superior value.”