N.H. SBA loan total tops $150m in 2011

The U.S. Small Business Administration guaranteed more than $150 million in loans for small businesses in New Hampshire in the last fiscal year — the highest level of SBA financing since 2006.A total of 762 loans were approved for New Hampshire businesses through the SBA’s loan guarantee programs in FY 2011. That was the most since 2007, when there were 817. There was a sizable increase both in number of loans and total dollars in fiscal year 2011 over the 2010 fiscal year, when there were 689 loans totaling $112.9 million. The same increase was true for SBA lending nationally, which set an all-time record of $30 billion in guaranteed loans. The increased lending activity was most intense during the first three months of the year, the SBA said, spurred by temporary enhancements included in the 2010 Jobs Act.Permanent provisions, which included a substantial increase in lending limits, helped the loan growth continue into the rest of the year, it said. “I am greatly encouraged by the results for the 2011 fiscal year,” said Greta Johansson, district director of the New Hampshire SBA. “The data demonstrates that our SBA lenders throughout the state are actively looking for opportunities to lend to qualified small business owners.”Of the 2011 financing, about $50 million went to the acquisition of real property and fixed assets through the SBA 504 program; the remainder was approved through the SBA 7a program, used predominantly for working capital and new equipment purchases. “It is a good sign that small business owners in our state continue to increase their financial commitments in their businesses,” said Johansson. “In like fashion, our community banks and credit unions in growing numbers have responded to their small-business clients through the use of SBA’s loan guarantee programs when needed.” — KATHLEEN CALLAHAN/NEW HAMPSHIRE BUSINESS REVIEW

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