SBA hands out $20.6B in 110,000 loans this year

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Already this year, the U.S. Small Business Administration has broken loan records, increasing total loan-dollar volume and lending more than 5.5 percent in underserved areas.

The SBA approved 110,275 loans worth more than $20.6 billion under its two primary loan programs during the 12 months ending on Sept. 30, compared with 107,233 loans worth $20.25 billion during 2006.

The combined outstanding loan balances in the 7(a) and 504 loan programs increased 6.5 percent to $66.7 billion.

The total does not include an additional $2.65 billion in venture capital funding provided by SBA-licensed Small Business Investment Companies to more than 2,000 small businesses.

Both primary loan programs combined set records this year. The 7(a) loan guaranty program – most often used for working capital – increased the number of loans from 97,290 in 2006 to 99,607 loans in 2007, although the dollar volume declined slightly from $14.52 billion to $14.29 billion.

The Certified Development Company – or 504 – program, for the purchase of real estate and fixed assets, provided 10,668 loans worth $6.31 billion, up from the 9,943 loans worth $5.73 billion in FY 2006.

Nearly a third of all loans went to startups, and a third went to minority borrowers. Loans to minority groups increased 7 percent, with the largest increase coming in loans to African-Americans, which increased by 23 percent, from 7,238 to 8,903.

Smaller volume increases went to Asian-Americans, native Americans and women, while loans to Hispanics declined slightly. Loans to businesses in underserved areas amounted to more than 36 percent of total loan approvals.