NEWARK, NJ---The U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) New Jersey district office reported that loan dollar volume to state small business owners is up 21 percent during the agency’s first quarter fiscal 2013, the period from October 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012.
According to SBA New Jersey District Director Al Titone, state small business owners received 249 SBA-backed loans for $151.2 million compared to the 256 loans for $124.7 million approved during the same period last year.
“The increase in dollar volume demonstrates that small business owners are willing to make big capital investments in expansion through renovations, the purchasing of real estate and machinery & equipment.” said Titone. “The average SBA loan in New Jersey has risen from $484,000 to $606,000, which is an indication that the economy is headed in the right direction.”
Titone noted that that there was a three percent drop off in the number of loan approvals and cited the disruption Hurricane Sandy caused throughout New Jersey as the likely source for the decrease. “We expect to see a bounce back during our second quarter,” said Titone. “Barring any major catastrophes, I am confident that we will be seeing a bigger demand for capital as 2013 starts to unfold.”
Titone also noted that eight of New Jersey’s 21 counties saw an increase in SBA loan approvals during the first quarter of fiscal year 2013. During that same time, loan approvals for eight counties decreased, while loan approvals for five counties remained unchanged. “Obviously, Hurricane Sandy has hurt many small business owners across the state and their ability to secure financing,” said Titone. “Some businesses are coming back online, however there are many businesses that are still struggling. It is a major concern of mine and the SBA. The long-term solution is making SBA resources readily available to business owners looking to get back on track. We are still accepting disaster loan applications through March 1 and are able to assist small business owners through ourlow-interest loan programs.”
Leading the way in SBA lending during the first quarter of fiscal year 2013 was Bergen County with 48 loans for $35.5 million. Middlesex County was second with 29 loans for $20.5 million and Monmouth County followed in third with 20 loans for $8.5 million .Rounding out the top five were Essex County with 17 loans for $10.6 million and Camden County with 15 loans for $12.4 million.
Also, during the first quarter of fiscal year 2013, JPMorgan Chase Bank was the top SBA lender with 36 loan approvals for $4.9 million. TD Bank followed with 21 loans for $8.9 million. Wells Fargo Bank and Sovereign Bank ranked third. Wells Fargo Bank approved 17 loans for $7.3 million and Sovereign Bank approved 17 loans for $5.7 million. Rounding out the top five lenders were Republic Bank with 15 loans for $16.2 million and New Jersey Business Finance Corp. with 14 loans for $16.4 million.