In a down economy, choice business locations become available ... just as it becomes harder to finance their purchase.

A seminar on Tuesday offers a solution: an under-used Small Business Administration loan program for businesses to acquire owner occupied real property.

Titled “Understanding & Utilizing the 504 Loan Program (& Other Loans) to Move Your Business Forward,” the session from 8 to 10:30 a.m. at Greate Bay Country Club in Somers Point is presented by the Small Business Development Center at Richard Stockton College and the commercial division of Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors, in Northfield.

Joseph Molineaux, director of the center, said some successes with the program prompted a Pru Fox commercial representative, Janice Johnson, to see its untapped potential for area business owners.

“We started working together to put the event together. When they heard about it, the banks started signing on, and then we started seeing other professionals interested in that process join the event,” he said.

The 504 Loan Program provides approved small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for real estate or business equipment. The loans are made available through certified development companies, two of which work with the program in this area.

“This event is tailored to the needs of existing businesses who want to buy their building, or equipment to make their business more efficient,” Molineaux said.

Speakers will include Johnson, on using the program to take advantage of the current market; Molineaux will talk about business plans and their importance to deals such as these; and Jim Hughes, of the Regional Business Assistance Corp., will discuss details of the 504 lending program he manages for that certified development company.

Two area business owners will be available to talk about how the 504 Loan Program has worked for them.

The free seminar will be presented in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration; Susquehanna Bank; PNC Bank; Ocean City Home Bank; TD Bank; Cape Bank; Regional Business Assistance Corp.; Youngblood, Lafferty & Sampoli; George Wray Thomas; Miller Chorney Interiors; Friedman LLP; and the Greater Atlantic City Chamber of Commerce.

Business Editor Kevin Post