November 3, 2016
By Bob Coleman
Editor, Coleman Report
Coleman Survey Shows 88% Disapprove to SBA Loan Program Name Changes
SBA’s renaming of the SBA 7(a) and 504 loan program has met with overwhelming industry disapproval of the rebranding effort.
Renaming 7(a) as SBA Advantage only garners 11% support — 81% disapprove.
Renaming 504 as SBA Grow has less support — only 5% approve of the name change. A whopping 92% disapprove.
And our Coleman survey breaks a record with responses. Over 300 people participated, with 200 offering comments.
The common theme is why try to fix something that isn’t broken?
“What a waste of taxpayer money by the SBA! Do they really expect this to increase support and understanding of these programs? Congressional approval was needed to increase the 7(a) approval authority … clearly the name isn’t hurting the program. Millions of Americans have a 401 (k) and the name doesn’t bother people.”
“What a waste of money and time. Money that could have been put toward marketing the programs much better. The programs don’t have a name ‘issue;’ they have a marketing problem. That’s what the agency should have focused on. Rebrands, new logo’s, etc. rarely provide the ROI sought. The only folks getting decent ROI are the marketing consultants who pitch these inane suggestions.”
Several say this will cost the industry millions for the brand makeover.
“This will cause all marketing material with references to 7 (a) or 504 to be changed costing millions.”
Others added that if SBA wanted to change the name, choose a brand that is more descriptive.
“I’m not against new names for the programs but am baffled at the names selected What are the new names intended to imply and how is they descriptive of the two programs?”
Finally, as an example of unintended consequences, three lenders from from Colorado and Washington point out the term “GROW” is commonly associated with legal marijuana farming.
“The SBA Grow Loan Program sounds like loan for a marijuana grow house. Can’t wait for those calls to start coming in.”
“As a CDC operating in a state where marijuana is legal I can already see this causing confusion with us offering ‘Grow Loans’”
“Is the 504 program becoming an agriculture program or perhaps a new program supporting legalized marijuana????”
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