Milwaukee-area SBA-backed lending fell sharply in January

Loans in the Milwaukee area that were backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) fell sharply in January after extremely high activity levels in October, November and December.

There were 26 SBA-backed loans that totaled $10.36 million made in January in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, Jefferson, Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth counties. In December, 2010, there were 158 loans that totaled almost $98.4 million. In January of 2010, there were 66 loans that totaled $15.4 million.

Much of the SBA-related lending that occurred in southeastern Wisconsin and across the country during the final three months of 2010 was related to the Small Business Jobs Act that President Barack Obama signed into law in September. Between late September and Dec. 31, 2010, there were a total of $10.3 billion in SBA-guaranteed loans made across the country.

During the week of Dec. 18 to Dec. 24, the SBA guaranteed a record high of $1.95 billion in small business loans, the agency said. It was the highest amount since the SBA began tracking weekly loan volumes.

The SBA may also be preparing for future budget cuts. According to this report in the Wall Street Journal, Obama’s 2012 budget for the agency will be a 45 percent reduction from its 2010 funding.

"We have to tighten our belt, too," said SBA Administrator Karen Mills on a conference call. "We looked through to see if there are programs that are duplicative or that we could eliminate."


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