money.jpgWASHINGTON – The U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) announced its 2013 lending to date at more than $29 billion to small businesses.

“Under President Obama, SBA lending has reached record levels and we continue to get more capital into the hands of small business owners than ever before,” said Acting SBA Administrator Jeanne Hulit. “Small businesses are the engine of our economy, and reaching our third highest year of SBA lending in FY 2013 demonstrates the strength and resiliency of America’s 28 million small businesses as they continue to recover from the Great Recession and drive our economy forward.”

One of SBA’s primary missions is to ensure that small business owners have access to the capital they need to start and grow their business.  Since President Obama took office, SBA has supported more than $126 billion in lending to more than 260,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs.  During the fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30, SBA loan approvals supported $29.6 billion (54,106 loans) to small businesses in its two main loan programs, 7(a) and 504, compared to $30.25 billion (53,848 loans) in Fiscal Year 2012 and $30.5 billion (61,689 loans) in Fiscal Year 2011.

SBA South Florida District accounted for 1,723 loans totaling more than $900 million.  This represented a 5 perce3nt increase in loans approved and 15 percent increase in capital made available to small business owners to start and expand their businesses and create jobs.  More than 8,400 jobs were created by this lending activity.

“Four years ago, South Florida and the nation faced the worst economic environment since the Great Depression.  I’m very happy to see SBA lending in South Florida increase again this fiscal year.  Small businesses are the engine of our economy, creating two out of every three net new private sector jobs and employing more than half of our nation’s workforce.  This increase in lending  is having a meaningful impact on south Florida small businesses and communities,” said SBA South Florida District Director Francisco “Pancho” Marrero.

SBA’s streamlining of the Small Loan Advantage (SLA) programs also continued to produce dramatic results, increasing the number of lower-dollar SBA 7(a) loans going to small businesses and entrepreneurs in underserved communities. The program, which is a key 7(a) loan initiative designed to expand access to loans under $350,000, was first launched in Feb. 2011, and revamped in June 2012. SBA has significantly reduced paperwork for the SLA program and expanded its pool of lenders — changes that have resulted in a more than 300 percent increase in SLA loans and an over 700 percent increase in the number of lenders using the program.  In FY 2013, SBA backed almost 5,000 loans for nearly $745 million through the SLA program.

As with SLA, CAPlines, a program that provides working capital lines of credit designed to help small businesses with their short-term working capital needs, saw a successful year in part because of measures to streamline loan processing.  In FY 2013, CAPlines approved 682 loans for more than $500 million. In the two full fiscal years since the program was re-designed, SBA has cumulatively  approved 1,200 loans after only doing 1,300 over 15 years – significant increase over the 1,300 loans issued over the 15 years prior.

“SBA streamlined and simplified SBA loan programs to create more access and opportunity for both lenders and borrowers in South Florida.  We saw a nearly 500 percent increase in the Small Loan Advantage (SLA) loan program here and more business owners took advantage of capital made available through SBA’s Export Working Capital program.  More importantly, we had 34 lenders who made no loans in FY12 but made at least one in FY13,” said Marrero.

In FY 2013, SBA also supported more than 7,700 504 loans, which provide small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing to acquire real estate and major fixed assets, for a total of more than $11.7 billion.  Although this is a slight decrease compared with FY 2012, this decrease demonstrates the importance of SBA’s 504 Refinancing Program, which temporarily allowed small business owners to use our 504 program to refinance commercial real estate and other fixed assets and gave SBA a record year for 504 lending in FY 2012. That program was authorized by the Small Business Jobs Act and expired in 2012, but a one year extension of the
program was included in the President’s FY14 budget.