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SBA help proves part of success story for Omaha small business climate

Release Date: 
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Release Number: 
Advisory Date: 
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Advisory Number: 
Michael Foutch (402) 221-7211

City ranks 12th nationwide on the Business Journals list for 2013 among major markets in small business vitality 

Omaha, NE – Access to capital from the U.S. Small Business Administration helped Omaha rank 12th among 102 major metropolitan markets in terms of 2013 small business vitality as calculated by the Business Journals, according to the SBA’s Nebraska District Office.
Omaha’s place on the index was the highest of any market in SBA Region VII, which encompasses Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri and Kansas.
The Business Journals’ On Numbers report used a six-part formula to rank each of the metropolitan areas in the study on such factors as small-business growth, population and private-sector employment. The On Numbers Economic Index is anchored to 18 statistical indicators, ranging from private-sector job growth, unemployment rates and personal earnings to housing-price appreciation and construction and retail activity.  The best scores went to areas highly conducive to the creation and development of small businesses. The study defined a small business as any private-sector employer with 99 or fewer employees.
“We’re incredibly proud to see Omaha recognized nationally, not just for their phenomenal growth over the past three years, but that our small businesses are serving as an example that despite the continuing challenges throughout the economy, entrepreneurs in this area continue to find opportunities to expand their operations, thereby creating and keeping jobs here,” said Leon Milobar, District Director of the SBA Nebraska District Office.
“SBA-backed lending in the new fiscal year continues to rebound,” Milobar added.  “Overall, the pace of SBA loan-making is a healthy sign for the economy and the credit markets and is one of the foundations for ensuring the availability of financing to small businesses trying to establish themselves, grow and create new jobs for Americans.”
The number of small business loans financed through the SBA proved crucial to start-up and existing small business owners across Nebraska by providing needed access to capital in Fiscal Year 2012; 441 loans for $156.5 million in loan guarantees closely matched the previous pre-recessionary participation rate. In Fiscal 2013 to date (Feb. 15), 149 SBA guaranteed loans have been approved for small businesses for $48.5 million in loan volume.
In a strong sign of confidence in Nebraska’s entrepreneurial economy, 45 percent of SBA loan approvals in Fiscal 2012 went to fund new businesses; start-ups in FY13 have received 41.3 percent of SBA loan guarantees in the state to date.  Normally, between 33 to 40 percent of SBA-backed loans are made to start-up companies.  
Small businesses in Nebraska employed 391,368 workers in 2010 with most of the employment coming from firms with 20-499 employees, according to figures released by the SBA’s Office of Advocacy.  Most of Nebraska’s small businesses are very small, as 74.7 percent of all businesses have no employees, and most employers in the state have fewer than 20 employees. 
From 2010 to 2011, self-employment in the state grew by 7.9 percent.  Veteran self-employment jumped by 6.9 percent over the same time.
Small businesses significantly impact Nebraska’s economy. They represent 96.6 percent of all employers and employ 50.9 percent of the private-sector labor force. Small businesses are crucial to the fiscal condition of the state and numbered 164,465 in 2010.
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