The U.S. Small Business Administration recently announced fiscal year 2017 lending numbers showing increasing loan levels in small business lending through the 7(a) and 504 loan programs, as well as increases in lending to women, veterans, and emerging communities.
In Maine, the SBA approved 303 7(a) loans totaling $68,534,800 — an increase of 3 percent over fiscal year 2016. During this same period, the SBA in Maine approved $39,760,000 in 504 loans, a substantial increase of more than 48 percent from 2016. Overall, the total SBA lending dollar amount in Maine was up by more than 16 percent for FY2017.
In Lincoln County, the number of loans tripled from two in FY2016 to six in FY2017, and the SBA is working hard to increase that number this year, as well.
The biggest area of growth was in the 504 program, which is typically used for transactions involving real estate and long-term capital purchases. There, we were up by 48 percent, which is huge — nearly $40 million in this product alone.
“We are extremely pleased to have assisted Maine small businesses with obtaining over $108 million of guaranteed financing,” said Amy K. Bassett, SBA district director for Maine. “SBA knows that small businesses are an integral part of the Maine economy and we are committed to providing them with greater access to capital. These numbers indicate that our outreach is working and we look forward to working with our valued partners to help more small businesses access SBA programs and services.”
Nationally, SBA approved more than 68,000 loans in the 7(a) and 504 loan programs in FY17. These programs provided more than $30 billion to small businesses.
SBA’s flagship loan program, referred to as 7(a), provides small businesses with guaranteed loans covering the vast majority of small business needs including working capital, and fixed and intangible asset financing, as well as refinance and export support through term and revolving loans.
In FY17, the 7(a) program supported a consistent number of loans — more than $25.44 billion combined across 62,430 loans. The SBA continues to streamline and improve access to its loan program for small loans and emerging communities, delivering more than $5 billion in smaller loans of $350,000 or less in FY17.
504 loans provide small businesses with long-term fixed rate financing to acquire fixed assets, and are available through certified development companies, SBA’s community-based partners. In FY17, the 504 program remained at zero subsidy, and grew to $5 billion in loan volume.
During FY17, SBA lending had a significant positive effect on businesses that have historically faced greater challenges in obtaining conventional loans. Minority business owners received a record combined $9.58 billion in 7(a) and 504 approved lending, or 31 percent of the SBA’s loan portfolio.
7(a) lending to women-owned businesses (both majority- and minority-owned) grew in total dollar and volume. FY17 lending exceeded $7.5 billion, an increase of $298 million from FY16.
FY17 504 lending to women-owned businesses reached $955.2 million, a $277 million increase over the previous fiscal year. Loans to veterans totaled $1.15 billion for 7(a) and 504 lending.
There has been yearly growth in SBA’s loan programs, reflecting the important role of its lending partners. In FY17, SBA added 241 new lenders that have contributed to a healthy loan portfolio and one of the lowest loss rates in the SBA’s history.
During the fiscal year, SBA launched its online lender referral tool Lender Match. Lender Match is an upgrade to LINC (Leveraging Information and Networks to access Capital). This tool helps connect small business borrowers with participating SBA lenders.
Lender Match is available to all SBA 7(a) lenders nationwide, including nonprofit lenders that offer free financial advice and specialize in microlending, loans in SBA’s Community Advantage program, and the SBA’s CDC/504 loan program. Lenders previously signed up for LINC will continue receiving referrals on the Lender Match platform.
During FY17, the SBA approved 27,263 disaster loans for a total of $1.7 billion. That total includes 24,121 home disaster loans for a total of $1.3 billion, and 3,142 business disaster loans for a total of $296 million. The SBA processed 84,705 home loan applications and 10,882 business disaster loan applications — a total of 95,587 disaster loan applications processed.
For more information about SBA’s loan programs, financial assistance, and other services, go to sba.gov.