Regional Administrator, Region IX
U.S. Small Business Administration
Small business loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in the last three fiscal years have reached the highest mark in the agency’s history, supporting over $4.5 billion in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, continuing the rebound begun in 2009.
Between October 1, 2013 and March 31, 2014 the Los Angele District Office financed a 7a Loan, working capital portfolio, of 963 businesses in the amount of $531 million compared to 867 businesses with $429 million the same time last fiscal year – assisting small businesses to start, grow and succeed. This second quarter to second quarter increase represents a 23.7 percent increase in the dollar value and 11 percent increase in number of loans.
SBA encourages small business owners to utilize our technical assistance centers such as: Women’s Business Centers, SCORE Chapters and Small Business Development Center Network to learn more about our loan programs, potential government contracting opportunities and disaster assistance programs. At the SBA, we recognize that small business is the economic backbone, heart and soul of America. Ninety-nine percent of all businesses in California are classified as small (less than 500 employees) and account for 52 percent of private sector jobs.
The exceptional last two quarters were partially prompted by the enhancements provided this fiscal year by the waiving of SBA fees on loans under $150,000 and the complete waiving of SBA fees to veteran business owners under the SBA Express program on loans up to $350,000.
While SBA lending is in record setting territory, SBA continues to fill gaps in the marketplace for small businesses that need access to lower dollar loans. To help fill these gaps, SBA created two new lending programs in fiscal year 2011, the Community Advantage and Small Loan Advantage. The Advantage lending programs provide stream-lined applications for loans under $250,000 with the standard 7(a) guarantee in order to incentive lenders to make smaller-dollar loans. The smaller-dollar loans often go to underserved communities. Additionally, Community Advantage increases the points of access for small businesses by allowing “mission focused” lenders, such as Community Development Financial Institutions and microlending intermediaries, the ability to make 7(a) loans.
The SBA, our lending partners and resource providers are all helping to make fiscal year 2014 a record breaking year. The Los Angeles SBA District Office continues to work diligently for local small businesses at every stage to provide more access to the capital, counseling assistance, and contracting opportunities they need to grow, thrive and help drive our economy.