The U.S. Small Business Administration approved 476 loans in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands during the first nine months of fiscal year 2013, an 18 percent increase over loans approved during the same period in 2012.
“SBA-backed lending continues to grow steadily in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands,” said SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo.
“When we look back to where we stood five years ago, we couldn’t be more pleased with the results before us today,” she said. “Our participating lenders have a renewed confidence, as evidenced by the increase in our production and dollar volume.”
As of June 30, SBA loans in the district totaled $55.2 million, of which $35.5 million were approved under the agency’s 7(a) Loan Guaranty program. The SBA’s primary lending vehicle, the 7(a) program provides long-term financing to acquire equipment and machinery, inventory, fixtures and accessories, renovations, purchase land, build new buildings, purchase existing businesses, and for the repayment of debts.
In addition, 86 loans for nearly $20 million were delivered under the agency’s 504 Certified Development Company program, signifying a 59 percent and 42 percent increase, respectively, in loan production and dollar volume over the same period the previous year.
The 504 Loan program, allows the SBA to promote economic development by creating jobs and providing small business owners long-term, fixed financing.
“Small businesses are at the cornerstone of our economy, and we look forward to continue providing them with the financial assistance they need to start and grow successfully,” Collazo said.
Loans in San Juan led the way as of the third quarter of the fiscal year with 75 approvals for $8.4 million, followed by Bayamón with 46 loans for $6 million and Caguas with 27 loans for $3 million. Of the total activity for the period, 99 loans went to business start-ups.