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SBA Lending in Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands up 45 Percent from Previous Year
Over $64 Million to Small Businesses in First Nine Months of FY 2011
SAN JUAN, PR – The Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands district office of the U.S. Small Business Administration approved $64.6 million in loan guarantees during the first nine months of fiscal year 2011, supporting nearly $95 million in financing to more than 460 small businesses, a 29 percent and 45 percent increase in dollars and loans approved, respectively, over the same period the year before.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the results we are seeing,” said SBA District Director José R. Sifontes. “As of the end of the third quarter we have approved 10 percent more loans than we did during the entire previous year. We look forward to September 30 and closing fiscal year 2011 with a bang.”
As of June 30, the San Juan Municipality saw the highest production, with 102 loans for $12.7 million, followed by Bayamón, with 30 loans for $7.6 million, and Caguas, with 26 loans for $3.8 million.
Total number of loans and dollars approved under the agency’s 7(a) Loan Guarantee Program (general purpose loans) increased 60 percent and 81 percent, respectively, over the same period a year ago. Banco Popular de Puerto Rico leads the way with 229 loans for $19.3 million, followed by Banco Santander Puerto Rico with 69 loans for $4.9 million, and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria with 52 loans for $6 million.
“Our achievements are a direct result of the Jobs Act of 2010 and enhancements to SBA loan programs, as well as the dedicated efforts of our staff,” Sifontes said. “We are committed to small business entrepreneurship and to creating the jobs that will continue to strengthen the economies of the islands we serve.”
Signed on Sept. 27, the Jobs Act permanently increased 7(a) and 504 limits from $2 million to $5 million (for manufacturers in the 504 loan program, up to $5.5 million), and increased Microloan limits from $35,000 to $50,000.
For more information about SBA programs and services, please visit www.sba.gov/pr.