SBA lending reaches nearly $1.3B in South Florida

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that small business lending reached nearly $1.3 billion in the South Florida District in fiscal year 2016, the second consecutive year the district has exceeded the billion-dollar lending mark. Nationally, small business lending hit $24.12 billion this year.

In addition to Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Monroe counties, the South Florida District also includes Brevard, Martin, Lee and Manatee counties. About half of the $1.3 billion in loans were made by banks in the Tri-County Area, however; banks lent $243 million in SBA loans in Miami-Dade.

In fiscal year 2016, the district’s approvals in the SBA’s flagship 7(a) loan program totaled 2,406 for over $1 billion, reflecting a 12 percent increase in loans approved and an 8 percent increase in dollar volume over the last year’s performance, said SBA South Florida District Director Francisco “Pancho” Marrero.

The SBA’s primary lending vehicle, the 7(a) Loan Guaranty program provides long-term financing to acquire equipment and machinery, inventory, fixtures and accessories, renovations, purchase land, build new buildings, purchase existing businesses and for the repayment of debts.

Under the agency’s 504 Certified Development Company Loan program, the District backed 303 loans for $208 million. This loan program allows the SBA to promote economic development by creating jobs and providing small business owners with long-term fixed financing.

Nationally, small business lending numbers hit record levels through the 7(a) and 504 loan programs, as well as significant increases in lending to women, veterans and underserved communities, the SBA said. The SBA approved more than 70,000 loans in the 7(a) and 504 loan programs, providing nearly $28.9 billion to small businesses and supported nearly 694,000 jobs.

“The SBA made strides ensuring business capital reaches those who need it most,” Marrero said. “This includes gains in SBA-guaranteed lending for business owners who are women, veterans, Hispanics, African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans and more.”