To celebrate the new year of 2023, SDC wanted to shine a spotlight on SBA’s Chief of the 504 Loan Program, Linda Reilly. Mrs. Reilly has been Chief of the 504 Program since June 2012 and has been with the Small Business Administration since 2010. Mrs. Reilly has 40 years of experience in economic development finance at the federal, state, and local levels.
She plans, develops, and implements strategies for outreach activities in connection with the promotion and continued development of the SBA 504 Program. Mrs. Reilly and her team have many responsibilities, of which include drafting federal regulations governing SBA’s 504 loan program and updating Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Federal Register Notices, and SBA Notices to Congressional inquiries. Mrs. Reilly and her team are also over developing program guides as well as conducting education and outreach of the program as needed.
We chose to feature Linda Reilly, because she is such an important part of what we do and the SBA 504 Program as a whole. She visited the Alabama District Office team back in July of 2022, in which some of our SDC team was able to meet with her and her team. Here are some fun facts about Ms. Reilly that we learned through some Q&As with her.
•Linda Reilly is from Talladega, AL and has lived in different parts of the state over time including Birmingham, Montgomery, and Anniston. She is also married. •She attended UAB for graduate school and has worked with L.D. and Rod at the Alabama District Office located in Birmingham for 12 years now. She has a great relationship with the Alabama District Office and always feels at home working with them. She has also worked with Tom Todt during her time in Anniston. •When asked what she’s learned most recently, either through work or in her personal life, she said, “Servant leadership can change the world. Focusing on others instead of yourself can accomplish great things.” •Her favorite thing to do outside of work is to travel to fun places around the world. •Her favorite thing about working for SBA is how rewarding it is for her to help her fellow citizens access a federal program that makes such a difference in communities across America as economic development finance helps create and retain jobs across the U.S. and helps level the playing field of opportunity for small businesses. •When asked what she is most proud of in her professional career, she said, “I’ve had the honor to be involved in projects across the U.S. and in the State of Alabama that involved significant job creation and retention. In Alabama I had the chance to work on large economic development projects such as the Mercedes, Honda and Boeing projects. The next phase of my career while in DC has focused on small business economic development finance for a national portfolio. It has been an exciting time to be at SBA considering the growth of the program during my tenure.” •Mrs. Reilly got her start in SBA lending by working on regional planning and development commission as an infrastructure grant writer. In developing water, sewer, and street projects for cities, local businesses had to be interviewed, and when they asked her about financing options, she discovered the 7(a) and 504 loan programs. Since there weren’t any local SBA loan packagers at this time, she became one herself. She worked with local area banks with the 7(a) product and with two certified development companies in Alabama with the 504 program. After being considered a local state level expert in SBA Lending, she accepted a job with NADCO in 2005, and became known nationally as an SBA expert. She was offered the job with SBA in 2010 and was promoted to 504 Chief in 2012. •Her most fascinating “fun fact,” to us at SDC, is that she worked at Southern Development Council for three years in the mid-1990s before being offered a job as the Assistant Director for the Center for Business for Auburn University Montgomery. At SDC, she helped train loan officers recruited from area banks in the 504 program and worked on servicing the state’s portfolio as well as working with the State’s attorney on preparing loan packages. She also worked on SDC’s EDA program.
Linda Reilly is a wonderful Chief of the 504 Program who is always kind, respectful, and willing to help others in any way she can. We appreciate all we have learned from her, and how much the 504 program has grown since she became Chief. We look forward to watching the program grow further and to see all that Mrs. Reilly and her team have yet to accomplish for the program and those who benefit from it.
If you would like to learn more about the SBA 504 Loan Program or how SDC can help you with your small business needs, please reach out via email, phone, or Facebook messenger.