The U.S Small Business Administration announced Tuesday that it has reached its third highest year of lending to date, surpassed only by two record years of supporting more than $30 billion in Fiscal 2011 and 2012.
In Fiscal 2013, SBA supported more than $29 billion in lending to America’s small businesses, giving small businesses critical access to the capital they need to start and grow their business.
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 2012 and $30.5 billion (61,689 loans) in Fiscal 2011.
SBA’s streamlining of the Small Loan Advantage (SLA) programs also continued to produce improved results, increasing the number of lower-dollar SBA 7(a) loans going to small businesses and entrepreneurs in underserved communities, the agency said.
The program, which is a key 7(a) loan initiative designed to expand access to loans under $350,000, was first launched in February 2011, and revamped in June 2012. SBA has reduced paperwork for the SLA program and expanded its pool of lenders — changes it said have resulted in a more than 300 percent increase in SLA loans and a more than 700 percent increase in the number of lenders using the program. In Fiscal 2013, SBA backed almost 5,000 loans for nearly $745 million through the SLA program.