WASHINGTON — The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) flagship lending program backed 37% more loans in the third quarter of 2009 than it did in the same period in 2008, according to the agency.
In the three months ended Dec. 31, SBA’s 7(a) lending program processed 12,393 loans totaling $3.8 billion, an increase from the 9,070 loans, totaling $1.9 billion, processed in the same period of 2008. The improvement is due to stimulus provisions that reduced fees and boosted guarantees on SBA loans, among others, the agency says.
Lending still lags behind pre-recession levels, however — SBA backed more than 20,000 small-business loans in the last quarter of 2007 — and the original provisions ran out of funding in late November.
The Senate has temporarily extended funding for two stimulus provisions that reduced fees and boosted guarantees. The extension, which was included in the Defense Appropriations bill, only extends the provisions through February; another piece of legislation — the Jobs for Main Street Act, which passed in the House earlier this month — would extend the provisions through next September.