Mississippi SBA sets another record for loan approvals

JACKSON — With months to go before its fiscal year ends, the Mississippi U. S. Small Business Administration continues its surge in guaranty lending to Mississippi small businesses.

Through the third quarter of fiscal year 2011 (Oct. 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011), the Mississippi SBA office has 607 approved loans totaling $235,453,500.

“That eclipses the $193,274,951 record dollar volume of loans set for the entire 2010 fiscal year,” said Janita R. Stewart, director of the Mississippi SBA District Office. “We established the new lending record only six months into this fiscal year and the rate of lending hasn’t diminished.”

The SBA’s 2011 fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

Of the loans, $146,751,700 went to underserved communities compared to $99,488,681 approved through June 30, 2010, representing a 47.5 percent increase. The underserved includes businesses located in low- to moderate-income areas, Enterprise Communities, SBA-designated HUBZones, rural areas as well businesses owned by minorities and women.

The Small Business Jobs Act signed into law by President Obama Sept. 27, 2010, increased SBA’s maximum loan portion from $2 million to $5 million ($5.5 million for manufacturers) and allowed the ability to refinance existing commercial mortgages.

“The refinancing aspect has never been allowed before,” said Stewart. “That, in addition to the increased dollar maximum, may be contributing factors to the increased dollar volume.”

Loan volume is steady at almost 1,100 loans and more than $365 million per week for 7(a) and 504 combined since April 1. Those figures are in line with SBA’s weekly averages before the recession.

“In addition, there were 18 new lenders brought on board in Mississippi this fiscal year that either had not made a loan in two years or never participated in the past,” said Stewart.

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