With a strong presence in the southeastern region of the U.S., Ameris Bank financed more than $1 billion business across the region last year.
The Moultrie, Ga.,-based bank offers SBA loan financing and other small business funding options. Since its founding in 1971, Ameris Bank now has more than $11 billion in assets, owning 31 financial institutions in South Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee.
Business owners can get started in applying for a loan by visiting the website and completing paperwork there. The approval process can’t be done entirely online, however. A bank representative will contact applicants for the remainder of the process.
Getting Small Business Financing Through Ameris Bank
Ameris Bank offers a variety of different small business lending options, including financing for commercial real estate, equipment financing, and SBA financing. Business lines of credit are also available. Advantages of small business financing through Ameris Bank includes local-decision making, as well as competitive terms and rates.
Some of the specific options available through Ameris Bank include:
- Business acquisition loans
- Construction and equipment financing
- Farmland financing
- Farm machinery and equipment financing
- Livestock financing
- Livestock facility loans
- Municipal lending
- Financing for residential builders
- USDA-guaranteed loans
- Working capital and inventory loans
Nearly any type of business can apply for financing, but Ameris Bank focuses on farm and agricultural businesses. The bank also offers other industry-centric lending options such as:
- Convenience stores and gas stations
- CAP firms
- Dental practices
- Medical practices
- Manufacturing and logistics
- Law firms
The credit requirements vary depending on the type of financing. For example, when you apply for SBA financing through Ameris Bank, you will need to prove you can repay the loan in a timely way, for example by providing either past earnings information or earnings projections.
Businesses must show they can operate successfully, and put up collateral. They also need to prove equity capital so the business could demonstrate the potential for sound financial operations.
SBA loans are available for different types of business owners, but the businesses must be for-profit. For these loans, business owners need to provide either three years of business tax returns or financial information since the business began.
Applicants also provide a current personal financial statement, a statement of personal history, a schedule of outstanding debt, and a breakdown of project costs showing how loan proceeds would be used.
Basic Information: Rates, Terms, Fees, and Limits
As with the lending and credit requirements, rates, terms, fees, and limits vary with loans from Ameris Bank.
With Ameris Bank SBA Financing, terms can be as long as 25 years. There are flexible terms, and equity requirements might be as low as 10 percent. With the SBA 7(a) loan, the amounts range from $200,000 to up to $5 million. These loans are a good fit for for-profit businesses and experienced business owners. This type of loan offers a variable rate in most cases, but rarely it can be fixed. The maximum variable rate for this type of loan is prime plus 2.75%.
The SBA 504 Term Loan ranges from $150,000 up to $6 million and businesses need to have a specific net worth to qualify. These are long-term financing options with a fixed rate.
There are quite a few benefits to working with Ameris Bank for small business financing. First, it offers a wide variety of financing options. It also might be easier for some businesses to get financing because of the personal approval process the bank provides. As with most smaller financial institutions, Ameris Bank may offer more competitive rates and terms, depending on the borrower.
The biggest downside is that Ameris Bank is a regional bank, so if you’re outside the Southeast, you’ll probably have to look elsewhere for a lender.
If you’re a business in the Southeast, Ameris Bank may be a good option for business financing. They work with many different types of businesses, and they personally review loan applications and make decisions in a localized way. That can be an advantage for local applicants.
>> Read More: Check out our small business loans guide to compare your options.