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SBA 7(a) Loans Reach New Record in South Carolina

Release Date: 
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Advisory Date: 
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Anna Huntley, 803-253-3753

SBA lending in South Carolina hit a new all-time high in the 2014 federal fiscal year, which ended Sept. 30. The SBA backed a record $206.9 million in loans to South Carolina small businesses under the 7(a) program--its primary loan program--in 2014, echoing a nationwide 7(a) lending record of $19.2 billion.

Loans backed through the SBA’s 7(a) program can accommodate a wide range of business financing needs, including start-up, acquisition, operation and expansion. The SBA approved 355 7(a) loans in South Carolina during fiscal year 2014, a 12 percent increase over the previous year's 316 7(a) loans.

“The record 7(a) volume in 2014 demonstrates the continuing economic recovery and the lenders’ increasing support for South Carolina’s small businesses,” said Elliott Cooper, district director of the SBA’s South Carolina district office. “As more lenders realize the benefit of SBA’s loan guarantee programs, more small businesses will reap the benefits of increased access to financing.”

The SBA’s total fiscal year 2014 loan volume –– which includes loans made through its 504 program –– reached a near-record $223.6 million in South Carolina, second only to last year’s $235.2 million volume. Together, 7(a) and 504 loan approvals totaled 384, the highest post-recession (i.e. after 2008) number of loans approved since fiscal year 2010.

Wells Fargo was the state’s top 7(a) participating lender, with 77 7(a) loan approvals totaling $27.6 million, followed by TD Bank with 36 loan approvals totaling $13.8 million. Columbia-based Business Development Corp. of S.C. had the third-highest number of 7(a) loan approvals with 28 loans, while Live Oak Bank––a North Carolina-based lender specializing in niche industries––had the third-highest 7(a) dollar volume at $12.3 million.

The SBA backed 29 loans totaling $16.8 million through its 504 program in fiscal year 2014. The 504 program provides long-term, fixed-rate subordinate mortgage financing for the purchase, construction or renovation of fixed assets. Certified Development Corp. --a sister corporation of the Business Development Corp. of S.C.--had the state’s highest number of 504 loans at 7, while West Columbia-based Provident Business Financial Services had the highest 504 loan volume at $4.7 million.