SBA 504 Loan Size: It’s Larger Than You Think

largest projects from tmc loansThe Small Business Administration (SBA) 504 loan provides financing for thousands of businesses every year to purchase land, buildings and equipment. You may be wondering, however, if your project is too large for a 504 loan. Chances are that it is not. The 504 loan is designed to be flexible and there are plenty of options to expand the financing you receive. The 504 loan encourages small businesses to think big.

How Much Can You Borrow with a 504 Loan?

You can’t read very much about the 504 loan without coming across the phrase “up to $5 million.” It’s an important amount, since it is the usual limit of SBA’s portion of the funding that goes into a 504 loan, but it’s not the limit of the full loan.

To understand this, you have to look at the loan’s structure. The 504 loan is administered by Certified Development Companies (CDC) and individual loans are granted in conjunction with a conventional lender, such as a bank. The conventional lender provides 50% or more of the total project. Your CDC facilitates the SBA loan for 40% up to $5 million. There is no limit to the amount of funding you receive from your first lender, so the loan is potentially limitless.

  • 50% Conventional Lender
  • 40% CDC
  • 10% Borrower

You can also exceed the traditional $5 million SBA limit if you meet certain criteria. If your project includes energy-efficiency measures and can participate in the SBA Green Energy Program, you can receive up to $5.5 million in SBA funding, and you can receive financing for multiple projects, exceeding the traditional limit. Manufacturing projects also allow up to $5.5 million in SBA financing.

What Are Some Examples Of Projects Financed with 504 Loans?

One of the beautiful things about 504 loans is their versatility and the number of unique and varied businesses they help flourish. TMC Financing, a CDC that operates in California and Nevada, regularly works with large, multimillion-dollar projects that finance a large portion of their project with a loan from the SBA. .

For example, Winslow Automation received a second 504 loan through TMC to help the business owner, Russell Winslow, be the sole owner of their 77,000 square foot manufacturing building, a $9.5 million acquisition. Winslow plans to increase the manufacturing floor space and convert a storage area into an expanded break room and office space. This will allow the company to install and use several pieces of production equipment that the company already owned but did not have enough space before to use. This is expected to increase sales about 15%.

The company, founded by Russell Winslow in 1986, has established itself as one of the very few semiconductor manufacturers in the world that can process high security integrated circuits for the most demanding high-reliability government and commercial applications.

TMC also helped Las Montanas Supermarkets purchase a new 44,000 square foot facility for one of their supermarkets.  The project included the purchase of an existing building and new equipment, totalling over $9 million. The loan allowed them to secure a permanent location for their supermarket and save cash each month since their mortgage payments are lower than what they were paying for rent.  

Manuel Gomez, and his wife Elba already had 23 years of business ownership and operating experience when they applied for their SBA 504 loan in 2015. Manuel and Elba now have three Hispanic supermarkets in the San Francisco Bay Area. The markets offer primarily Hispanic brands that cater to the Latin American community.

Another major project that TMC had a hand in financing is Rush Creek Lodge, the first resort to open near Yosemite Park in more than a quarter century. The lodge has 143 rooms on 20 acres of grounds just one mile from the park entrance. The lodge features all the latest elements of green technology.

TMC helped the owners, First Light Hospitality, get a 20-year 504 loan as part of a financing package that totaled over $30 million. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said co-owner Lee Zimmerman. “Without the SBA piece from TMC, we wouldn’t have gotten this done.” First Light Hospitality also owns the Evergreen Lodge at the park. Both resorts have programs for urban youth to work as seasonal interns. Besides providing an opportunity to spend time in nature, the program gives the young people a supportive environment and teaches them a trade.

TMC Financing has been helping small businesses access quality financing to fuel business growth since 1981. TMC is a high-volume Premier Certified Lender with the SBA and we can help you put together the best financing package possible using the 504 loan. One of our 504 loan experts would be happy to talk to you about your project and your options for financing. Contact TMC today to learn more.


Barbara Morrison, a local small business advocate and civic leader, founded her first company TMC Financing in 1981. TMC is a Certified Development Company that provides commercial real estate financing to small business owners via the SBA 504 Loan Program. TMC consistently ranks among the top certified development companies nationwide, and has funded projects worth more than $9 billion across California and Nevada. Nearly 5,000 small businesses have benefitted from this financing, resulting in the creation of an estimated 50,000 jobs. TMC is also the No.1 SBA 504 hotel lender in the United States. Barbara is also the founder of Working Solutions, a Bay Area microlender whose mission is to provide micro entrepreneurs, particularly low-income individuals, women and minorities, with the access to capital and resources they need to start a successful business.
Barbara Morrison