The numbers are in and the US Small Business Administration (SBA) has set record levels of small business lending through the 7(a) and 504 loan programs.  Women owned businesses saw a $253 million increase in funding in 2016, totally over $7 billion.  Meanwhile, minority owned business saw an increase as well, totally $8.65 billion.

The 7(a) is the flagship loan program of the SBA and it provides “…small businesses with comprehensive financial assistance covering the vast majority of small business needs including working capital, fixed and intangible asset financing, as well as refinance and export support through term and revolving loans.”  During the 2016 fiscal year, the program supported more than 64,000 loans which accounted for $24.12 billion. These record highs are an increase of 1 percent in loan amount and 2.6 percent in dollar amount.

The 504 loan provides “…small businesses with long-term fixed rate financing to acquire fixed assets for expansion or modernization.” These loans are provided through the Certified Development Companies (CDC) and the program also saw record highs in total dollar amount and loan volume. During the 2016 fiscal year, 504 increase 10 percent in total dollar spent ($4.74 billion) and 2 percent in loan volume.

-Ray Hayes

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