The U.S. Department of the Treasury has released the results of its first Small Business Lending Fund Lending Survey, which showed more than 90% of SBLF participants reported stronger small business lending through the fund.
More than 80% of small business loans made by SBLF participants were made in amounts of $250,000 or less, according to the Treasury Department.
The lending survey has also allowed the Treasury to begin to estimate the number of small businesses supported by SBLF participants’ increased lending, the department said.
By dividing the average loan size reported by community banks by the program-wide $8.9 billion lending increase reported in the April 2013 SBLF Use of Funds Report, the Treasury said it was able to estimate that SBLF participants have now increased small business lending by an additional 38,000 loans as of Dec. 31, 2012.
The survey also showed a closer look at SBLF participant lending by industry and geography. Participants reported that the service and agriculture sectors have received the largest estimated percentage of additional loans.
By region, SBLF participants in the South and Midwest reported the largest estimated increases in the number of small business loans (20,200 and 8,700 loans, respectively), followed by the Northeast (5,500 loans) and the West (3,600 loans).
The SBLF, established as part of the Small Business Jobs Act that President Obama signed into law in 2010, encourages community banks to increase their lending to small businesses.
Treasury said it invested more than $4 billion in 332 institutions through the SBLF. Collectively, these institutions operate in more than 3,000 locations across 48 states.
More data from the small business lending fund survey can be found here.