The U.S. Small Business Administration’s flagship 7(a) and 504 loan programs already have placed $4.2 billion into the hands of entrepreneurs across the Southeast Region this year.
Lending is up 45 percent over the same time last year (Oct. 1- July 31) and in South Florida, it is up by $339 million, a significant increase from the prior year.
“The $4.2 billion in small business loans contributes to job creation and support for our southeast regional economy,” says Cassius F. Butts, SBA regional administrator. “Our lending partners have provided entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses the capital they need to grow and succeed.”
Included in the $4.2 billion figure are nearly $600 million in SBA-backed loans to woman-owned small businesses (a more than 40 percent increase over last year) and nearly $83 million in loans (a more than 25 percent increase over last year) allocated to the region’s underserved communities. In all, the SBA’s Southeast Region, which includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, has approved nearly 8,000 loans; nearly 2,500 more than this time last year.
“These marked loan increases to both our underserved communities and women entrepreneurs are due to our active collaboration with community organizations and lenders, assuring that small business owners have access to capital so that they can achieve their entrepreneurial goals,” says Regional Administrator Butts.
“In the South Florida District office, we have certainly hit a milestone by achieving a record breaking billion dollar mark for the amount of loans that are guaranteed by the SBA in the first 10 months of this year,” says SBA South Florida District Director, Francisco “Pancho” Marrero. “This is pretty significant in terms of illustrating the strength of our small business owners and their ability to access capital. It is also a very positive indicator of their increased confidence in the future and their willingness to expand their businesses. I have no doubt the next two months will continue this upward trend of borrowing. SBA-backed loans to woman-owned firms in South Florida have increased by 31% over FY 2014 and loans to the district’s underserved communities including increases of 77% for Asian-American firms, 43% for African-American firms and 41% for Hispanic-American firms.”