More small businesses are receiving federally-backed loans, and banks are upping the amount they’re lending.
That’s according to data released Wednesday by the Small Business Administration’s Seattle office. The first half of the government’s fiscal year, ending March 31, saw a 54 percent increase in the number of loans approved compared to the same time period the year before — from 635 to 976.
The amount banks are lending saw an even bigger jump, from $169 million to almost $332 million.
The loans are part of the American Recovery &Reinvestment Act of 2009. The loans are backed by government funds, meaning they’re less risky for lenders.
Since the program started last year, it has supported more than $19 billion in small-business lending across the country, according to Calvin Goings, administrator for the regional SBA office. In Washington state, loans total $577 million overall.
“We think this is a good sign for the Washington economy and hope this momentum continues in the coming months,” said Nancy Porzio, Seattle District Director. “We saw an increase in lending in the third and fourth quarters of last fiscal year. The increased activity through the second quarter of FY2010 builds on that trend and certainly affirms that money remains available to qualified borrowers.”
U.S. Bank made 84 loans, earning the top-lender spot. Mountain West Bank, Numerica Credit Union, Chase, and Pacific International Bank were also high on the list, SBA officials said.
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