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Advocacy News Release

Small Firm Lending, 2009-2010: Harbingers of Growth

Release Date: 
Thursday, February 10, 2011
Contact: 
Patrick Morris (202) 205-6941

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Lending to small firms by U.S. financial institutions continued to decline, but began to stabilize in some loan size categories over the 2009-2010 period. This is according to the Office of Advocacy’s latest edition of Small Business Lending in the United States, released today. The study finds that small business lending dropped by 6.2 percent, less than the 8.9 percent drop experienced in large firm lending over the 2009-2010 period. GDP has turned upward, and business lending may follow the pattern of other recessions, in which commercial and industrial lending grew only after recovery was well under way.

“Businesses and lenders continued to exercise caution in borrowing and lending through 2009-2010,” said Chief Counsel for Advocacy Winslow Sargeant. “As the economy improves, this study, through its state-by-state display of lender performance, can help both small business borrowers and lending institutions see where small firms are beginning to find the capital they need.”

The study finds that lending in the smallest business loans under $100,000 began to stabilize in 2009-2010—the total was down by 1 percent, compared with a 5.5 percent drop in 2008-2009, and real estate loans accounted for the entire decline.

Small Business Lending in the United States, 2009-2010, uses data reported by financial institutions to their regulatory agencies to compile state-by-state rankings of these institutions with respect to their small business lending. Two types of reports are used: Consolidated Reports of Condition and Income (Call Reports) and Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) reports. (The rankings are unrelated to banks’ status with respect to Small Business Administration lending programs.)

The Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent voice for small business within the federal government. The presidentially appointed Chief Counsel for Advocacy advances the views, concerns, and interests of small business before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, federal courts, and state policymakers. For more information, visit www.sba.gov/advo, or call (202) 205-6533.