The U.S. Small Business Administration supported more than $75 million in loans to Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands small businesses during fiscal year 2013, an 8 percent increase over fiscal year 2012, the agency announced Wednesday.
“Our commitment to small business entrepreneurship is stronger than ever, as evidenced by the results we see today, and we are confident that this is only the beginning of an upward trend in capital access,” said SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo.
“The SBA’s staff, along with our resource partners and participating lenders, have worked together to help nearly 650 small businesses gain access to the financial assistance they needed to get off the ground, grow and create the jobs that will keep our economy moving forward,” she said.
As of Sept. 30, the SBA supported nearly $50 million in loans under the agency’s 7(a) Loan Guaranty program, which provides financing for a variety of general business purposes, such as working capital, expansion or renovation of facilities, the purchase of machinery and equipment, and the purchase of land, among others.
Most of the 7(a) loans were approved under the SBA Express method, a streamlined lending product that allows participating lenders to use their own forms, procedures and analysis, with a 50 percent SBA guaranty and agency response within 36 hours.
In addition, more than $27 million were delivered to 115 small businesses under SBA’s 504 Certified Development Company program, a 46 percent and 19 percent increase, respectively, in dollars and loans over the previous year. Designed to promote economic development by creating jobs through long-term, fixed financing, the Certified Development Company program supported more than 400 jobs during fiscal year 2013.
Of the total SBA loans in Puerto Rico and the USVI, 510 went to existing businesses and 136 went to start-ups.
The majority of loans were approved in San Juan with 113, followed by Bayamón with 53, Ponce with 33, and Guaynabo and Caguas with 32 loans each.