SBA loans climb to new record

The U.S. Small Business Administration 7(a) Loan Program reached another lending record in fiscal 2014, announced SBA administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet.

By the end of the fiscal year (Sept. 30), the SBA had approved 52,044 7(a) loans for $19.19 billion, an increase of 12 percent in number of loans and 7.4 percent in dollar amount over fiscal year 2013.

The 7(a) program is designed to provide small businesses with the most comprehensive type of financial assistance to cover the vast majority of business expenses, such as short- and long-term working capital, exports and refinancing existing debt under certain conditions.

“As our economy continues to grow and recover, small businesses are the essential fuel to that continued growth,” Contreras-Sweet said. “Thanks to the hard work and outreach by our lending partners, SBA staff, and our resource partners, as well as the small business owners themselves, we have been able to put more capital into the hands of our nation’s entrepreneurs. We know that America’s small businesses pack the biggest punch, creating two out of every three net new private sector jobs in the U.S. These small businesses are the cornerstone of our communities, so their success and expansion is vital to the nation’s economic growth.”

Wisconsin’s 7(a) lending increased 5.6 percent in 2014, from 1,456 to 1,537 loans. The Badger State also led the nation for the second year in the 7(a) Small Loan Program.

The SBA had been authorized to dole out $17.5 billion nationwide in the fiscal 2014 lending program. It became clear that lending would exceed that amount; therefore, the agency secured an increase for the 7(a) program in the continuing resolution that was approved in mid-September.

In fiscal 2014, the number of SBA loans to African-Americans grew by roughly 36 percent over the previous year. For Hispanics and women, there was an increase of 14 percent for each group. For more information about the SBA’s loan programs and other financial assistance, as well as services, visit http://go.usa.gov/GQh3.

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