7(a) Financing

C7a works directly with businesses and with other lenders when other sources will not provide capital. Our loans can help clients with small or medium sized businesses anywhere in the United States for a variety of purposes including:

  • Growth and Expansion
  • Leasehold improvements
  • Acquisition or construction or acquisition of offices, factories, or facilities
  • Replacement or upgrading of equipment
  • Refinancing and balance sheet restructuring
  • Business acquisition or partner buy-out

At C7a we make getting a loan possible for businesses that have had difficulty getting financing from other lenders at reasonable rates or on reasonable terms. These businesses may have been unable to access traditional sources of funding, however, they all demonstrate that they are viable, for-profit, businesses that will be able to repay the loan.

Sleepy Poet Antique Mall, Gastonia, North Carolina

How can C7a meet borrower’s requirements when bank or online lenders cannot?  

  • C7a makes loans with our own capital, but we’re not a bank.
  • We specialize in lending and do not offer or sell banking products, such as deposit accounts or credit cards, so we’re focused on lending.
  • We are owned by a non-profit whose mission includes increasing small business’s access to capital. That’s a different mindset to most banks or online lenders.
  • We are one of 14 lenders licensed by the SBA to participant in its flagship 7(a) loan guarantee program, which provides flexibility in making small businesses loans that would be challenging for traditional banks to approve.
  • We have a diverse team skilled in small businesses and lending. Our staff have owned and run small businesses, been bankers and investors, and worked for non-profit mission-oriented loan funds. This variety of backgrounds, experience, and skills makes us different to most other lenders.
  • We are committed to engaging borrowers and being fair and transparent in our decision-making processes. We are signatories to the Borrowers’ Bill of Rights and proud members of the Better Business Alliance.

Lam and Selena Lum, owners of Taste of Asia restaurant, Sarasota, Florida

In the news

Read about some of our borrowers in the news, join the conversation on social media, and sign up for our newsletter. Link to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Charlotte’s Sleepy Poet entrepreneur inspires arts and antiques district in Gastonia

Navy veteran buys full service salon

Tasty plate of finances

Real estate vet acquires Alabaster steel company

Our Partners

In addition to working directly with potential borrowers, we partner with selected geographically focused, mission-oriented small business lenders, and we collaborate with like-minded business advisors, municipal, and community-oriented organizations.  This allows us to expand our reach to, and provide more support for, more small businesses borrowers.

Work with us

C7a’s loans are one of a range of financing products provided by our parent company, CEI, and its subsidiaries. C7a staff are well positioned to answer your questions and understand your unique needs so that you can be directed to the most appropriate CEI financing product.

To continue you will need to submit a completed loan application and provide various due diligence items, including business and personal financial and tax information.


C7a will review referrals within one week and provide initial feedback to the applicant. Generally, a loan will be underwritten and approved, or rejected, within 30 to 45 days of receiving a completed application package. If approved, an additional 30 to 45 days may be required to allow appraisals, valuations, environmental surveys, etc. to be conducted and the results reviewed. Approved loans will be closed and funded shortly after successful review of all required studies, surveys and reports.


e-mail:  info@cei7a.com
Main: 207-253-7700
Fax: 207-221-1820