The U.S. Small Business Administration announced Monday it has added a new surety company to its Surety Bond Guarantee (SBG) Program, partnering with Antilles Insurance Company in Puerto Rico to provide contract surety bonds to small businesses.
Antilles is the first bond partner on the island, providing greater contract bonding access to small businesses throughout the region and across the U.S., the agency said.
“The SBA is pleased to add to the growing number of surety companies that help small contracting businesses with their surety bond needs,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said.
“SBA partners with the surety industry to help small businesses that would otherwise be unable to obtain bonding in the traditional commercial marketplace, and this is one more way we are helping small businesses, particularly in the construction and service sectors, to grow and create jobs,” she said.
The SBA provides and manages surety bond guarantees for qualified small and emerging businesses through the SBG Program. Participating sureties receive guarantees that the SBA will assume a predetermined percentage of loss in the event the contractor should breach the terms of the contract.
The SBA helps small contractors by guaranteeing bid, performance, and payment bonds issued by participating surety companies for contracts up to $6.5 million. The SBA can guarantee a bond for a contract up to $10 million if a federal contracting officer certifies that SBA’s guarantee is necessary for the small business to obtain bonding.
“This is the SBA’s first bond partnership with a Puerto Rican firm, and we look forward to working with Antilles Insurance to increase our support to small contracting companies on the island,” said SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo.
“The construction industry has faced great challenges over the past decade. With the support of programs like the Surety Bond Guarantee Program, small businesses have added leverage to perform contracts and contribute to our economy,” Collazo said.
Administered through the SBA’s Office of Surety Guarantees, the SBG Program consists of the Prior Approval Program and the Preferred Surety Bond Program. Surety companies participating in the Prior Approval Program are subject to SBA review and approval of all bonds.
With the Preferred Surety Bond Program, which includes larger surety companies, the SBA gives selected sureties the authority to issue, monitor and service bonds without prior SBA approval.
“This is a great opportunity to promote the construction sector in Puerto Rico,” said Antilles Insurance Company CEO Jaime J. González. “It is a pleasure for Antilles Insurance Company to become part of the Surety Bond Guarantee Program. We are committed to providing and offering the best service to contractors, insurance producers and to the Small Business Administration.”
SBA assistance in locating a participating surety company or agent, and completing application forms, is available online. For more information on SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program, including Surety Office contacts, visit www.sba.gov/surety-bonds.