SBA and its network of participating lenders financed 1487 small business loans supporting a total of $1,190,310,300 to borrowers in the Santa Ana District during Fiscal Year 2011, according to agency records. Compared to the previous year's statistics, this indicates a 33% increase in the gross dollar amount and an 11% increase in the number of SBA loans made. The Santa Ana District ranked fourth out of 68 district offices nationwide; just behind the districts of Los Angeles, Illinois, and Georgia. The top three lenders in the Santa Ana District were CDC Small Business Finance with 189 loans; JPMorgan Chase with 170 loans; and Wells Fargo Bank with 151 loans.
Nationwide, SBA lending followed a similar trend, with loan approvals surpassing $30 billion for the first time in the agency's history. The increase in lending is largely attributed to the Small Business Jobs Act signed on September 27, 2010, which reinstated successful SBA loan enhancements such as higher guarantees and waived fees that were first enacted through the Recovery Act. Over the past three fiscal years, these provisions have been the driving force that allowed SBA to support over $70 billion in lending to 150,000 small businesses, filling a gap in the market caused by the freeze in conventional lending.
According to SBA District Director Adalberto Quijada, "Ensuring that small businesses have adequate access to capital remains a top priority at SBA. Since the expiration of the Jobs Act provisions, loan volume has remained comparable to weekly averages before the recession. The availability of SBA loans remains a positive sign for small businesses seeking credit."
Although the gross dollar amount borrowed surpasses any prior year for which data is available, the number of borrowers is significantly lower than it was before the recession. The shift indicates a movement in small business lending away from new businesses, which typically borrow smaller sums of money, towards existing businesses, which tend to borrow larger sums of money. To meet the needs of credit underserved communities, SBA has broadened its spectrum of participating lenders to include mission-based financial institutions and CDFIs using the Community Advantage program.
For more information on SBA's loan guaranty programs, please contact the Santa Ana District Office at (714) 550-7420.