The SBA said it supported more than $29 billion in lending to small businesses this fiscal year, making 2013 the third highest in lending activity in the agency’s history.
During the fiscal year which ended Sept. 30, the SBA said, loan approvals supported $29.6 billion (54,106 loans) to small businesses in its two main loan programs, 7(a) and 504, compared to $30.3 billion (53,848 loans) in FY 2012 and $30.5 billion (61,689 loans) in FY 2011.
The agency said streamlining its Small Loan Advantage program, which is designed to expand access to loans under $350,000, increased the number of lower-dollar SBA 7(a) loans going to small businesses and entrepreneurs in underserved communities.
In FY 2013, the SBA said, it backed almost 5,000 loans for nearly $745 million through the SLA program.
The agency’s CAPlines program, which provides working capital lines of credit designed to help small businesses with their short-term working capital needs, saw a successful year in part because of measures to streamline loan processing, according to the SBA.
The program approved 682 loans for more than $500 million, the agency said. In the two full fiscal years since the program was re-designed, the SBA said it has cumulatively approved 1,200 loans after only doing 1,300 over 15 years.
In FY 2013, the SBA said, it also supported more than 7,700 504 loans, which provide small businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing to acquire real estate and major fixed assets, for a total of more than $11.7 billion.
Although this is a slight dip with FY 2012, the SBA said the decrease demonstrates the importance of SBA’s 504 Refinancing Program, which has temporarily allowed small business owners to use the 504 program to refinance commercial real estate and other fixed assets.
That program was authorized by the Small Business Jobs Act and expired in 2012, but a one-year extension of the program was included in President Obama’s FY 2014 budget, the SBA said.
Since Obama took office, the SBA said it has supported more than $126 billion in lending to more than 260,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs.
“Small businesses are the engine of our economy, and reaching our third highest year of SBA lending in FY 2013 demonstrates the strength and resiliency of America’s 28 million small businesses as they continue to recover from the Great Recession and drive our economy forward,” said Acting SBA Administrator Jeanne Hulit.
The SBA was founded in 1953.