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SBA Loans Up for 2018

$214 Million in Arkansas Small Business Loans
Release Date: 
Monday, October 29, 2018
Release Number: 
Kevin Lee McIver -

LITTLE ROCK – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved more than $214 million in loans to Arkansas small businesses for Fiscal Year (FY) 2018, a five percent increase over the previous year’s loan amounts.

During the federal government’s Fiscal Year 2018 that operated October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018, the small business loans guaranteed by the SBA provided funding assistance to start and grow Arkansas small businesses.

In all, 262 small business loans closed for a total of $214,302,000. Sixty-three commercial lenders, credit unions, and certified development companies were involved in funding these small business loans.

“Small businesses are a critical component to economic growth in Arkansas,” said District Director Edward Haddock. “For many applicants obtaining funding through traditional commercial lending processes is difficult due to issues such as inadequate collateral, insufficient business history, being a start-up, and length of term for repayment.”

Haddock pointed out that when lenders leverage SBA programs they are able to help those small businesses with capital access that they might otherwise have difficulty approving.

“Through our 7(a) Loan that is the SBA’s largest financing program and the 504 Loan Program, lenders were able to provide over $214 million to eligible small businesses that they might otherwise not have been able to obtain,” he said.

Haddock noted SBA-backed loans were critical to helping spur growth in rural counties.

“During Fiscal Year 2018, 53 percent of these loans were made for start-ups and existing businesses in rural areas,” Haddock highlighted. “Traditionally, these are difficult loans for commercial lenders to make. Although the maximum dollar amount for eligible businesses is $5 million, 65 percent of the FY 2018 loans were for $350,000 or less.”

In addition to SBA’s 7(a) Loan and 504 Loan programs, 34 small businesses in the state took advantage of the SBA’s Microloan Program for a total of $817,400. The average microloan was $24,000.

“The SBA Microloan Program is designed to provide small business loans to applicants of $50,000 or less,” said Lender Relations Specialist Herbert Lawrence. “These microloans are specifically designed to provide critical funding to small businesses needing smaller dollar amounts and who may have had issues in obtaining that funding through normal commercial lending channels.”

The two Arkansas microlenders, FORGE and Communities Unlimited, specialize in small loans to start-ups and existing businesses that commercial lenders were not able to make.

“Many of these microloans were made to underserved markets, specifically women, minorities, veterans, and rural businesses—often an under represented group searching for access to capital at reasonable rates,” said Lawrence.

Learn more about SBA’s small business loan programs by contacting the Arkansas District Office at (501) 324-7379 ext. 297, or visit for more information.


About the SBA Arkansas District Office:

The SBA Arkansas District serves Arkansas with locations in Little Rock and Northwest Arkansas. SBA Arkansas District staff provides resources and services in three areas referred to as “the three C’s” – counseling, capital and contracting. Visit or follow @SBA_Arkansas for more information including resource partners, lenders, workshops, success stories and other resources to help small businesses start, grow and succeed.


About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit