The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that the agency has removed its 504 Loan Program’s cap on lending for clean energy projects as part of broader SBA and government efforts to usher in the nation’s clean energy future. “Small businesses and start-ups play a crucial role not only in innovating to develop the future of climate technology but also in adopting sustainable practices and transitioning to clean energy to help advance the ambitious goal of net zero by 2050,” said SBA administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman, head of the SBA.

As the government makes historic public investments in climate resilience, clean energy, and infrastructure, “the SBA is focused on ensuring small businesses have access to the capital they need to help our nation transition to a clean energy economy. By outlining SBA resources in the White House Climate Capital Guidebook and removing the cap on 504 loans for energy projects, the SBA can put itself in a stronger position to achieve this vital goal,” Casillas Guzman said.

The SBA’s lending cap removal for clean energy projects is part of a suite of initiatives to catalyze and democratize investment in climate and clean energy. Previously, small businesses financing “energy public policy projects” were limited to three SBA 504 loans of $5.5 million each, for a maximum total of $16.5 million. Going forward, borrowers may secure as many 504 loans up to $5.5 million for which they otherwise qualify. Energy public policy projects include those that reduce energy consumption (e.g., retrofits) and renewable energy projects (e.g., adding solar).

In addition to this announcement, the SBA continues to advance its core lending and investment programs in collaboration with the private capital markets to advance capital access for small businesses fueling the clean energy economy. A new Climate Capital Guidebook provides a comprehensive map of financing programs across the federal government, including from the SBA, that are available to climate-related small businesses and their investors. The guidebook complements the SBA’s recently released Investing in America Small Business Hub, which provides technical assistance to small businesses on how to access grants, loans, and market opportunities stemming from climate investments.