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The Mission Lenders Working Group (MLWG) is a coalition of SBA certified Community Advantage (CA) lenders that include SBA Certified Development Companies (CDCs), SBA Microloan Intermediaries and Treasury certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) from across the country with a shared commitment to financing, supporting, and sustaining underserved and underbanked small businesses. 

The CA initiative is designed to increase access to capital for small businesses located in low to moderate income areas by allowing community-based, mission-oriented lenders that are focused on economic development to participate in the 7(a) program; and by providing management and technical assistance to small businesses located in underserved communities on an as needed basis.

Active members convene quarterly calls for participating Community Advantage lenders to provide peer support, engage with SBA program staff, and share feedback on CA program issues and updates. If you are interested in becoming a member you can contact the Feighan Team at

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To be certified by SBA as a CA lender, an entity must be a SBA Certified Development Company (CDCs), a SBA Microlender, an SBA Intermediary Lender, or a Treasury-Certified Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI).

Once certified, at least 60% of a CA lender’s loans must be issued to businesses in an underserved market defined by SBA as:

  • low-to-moderate income (LMI) communities,

  • Empowerment Zones or Enterprise Communities,

  • Opportunity Zones,

  • HUBZones, and

  • Rural areas.

​New businesses/startups, Veteran-owned businesses, and businesses employing individuals who are low-income or live in an LMI community are also considered to be in underserved markets.

Learn more about the history of SBA CA Program here.

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