The U.S. Small Business Administration approved 165 loans for $26.9 million in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands during the first three months of fiscal year 2015, an 11 percent and 66 percent increase, respectively, over first-quarter approvals in 2014.
“Our loan results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2015 are indicative of the commitment and dedication of our staff, authorized lenders and resource partners,” said SBA District Director Yvette T. Collazo. “These numbers are also proof that the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well, and small business ownership continues to be at the forefront of our economic development.”
As of Dec. 31, 2014, loans approved in Puerto Rico under the agency’s 7(a) Loan Guaranty program totaled 140 for $12.6 million, reflecting a 14 percent increase in both number of loans and dollar volume over the same period the previous year. Five 7(a) loans were approved in the USVI for $1.1 million, a 25 percent and 256 percent increase, respectively, when compared to fiscal year 2014.
The SBA’s primary lending vehicle, the 7(a) Loan Guaranty 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, 20 loans for $13 million were delivered under the agency’s 504 Certified Development Company program, reflecting a 174 percent increase in 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 with long-term, fixed financing.
Of all loans delivered during the first quarter of fiscal year 2015, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico leads the way with 76 loans under the 7(a) program and participation in 12 of the 20 loans approved under the 504 program. Corporación para el Financiamiento Empresarial del Comercio y de las Comunidades (COFECC) tops the list of CDC loans with nine loans for $5.6 million — a 50 percent and 278 percent increase, respectively, over their loans in this category during the first quarter of the previous year.