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SBA Illinois District Small Business Lending Momentum Continues in FY18

Local loan volume reaches more than $1.1 billion
Release Date: 
Monday, October 22, 2018
Jessica Mayle,

CHICAGO – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Illinois District Office guaranteed more than $1.1 billion in loans in fiscal year 2018, helping entrepreneurs access capital while supporting job creation and economic development.

The SBA’s Illinois District Office approved 2,331 loans in the 7(a) and 504 loan programs in FY18, which provided $1,103,065,500 to small businesses.

“One of SBA’s top goals is to get more capital into the hands of entrepreneurs who would otherwise not be able to access loans at reasonable rates,” said Nancy Libersky, the SBA’s acting Illinois district director. “Our lending numbers show that we are accomplishing that objective, helping small businesses in the area start and grow.”

Nationally, the SBA announced FY18 lending numbers showing that it guaranteed more than $30 billion through more than 72,000 approved loans to small businesses that otherwise would not have had access to capital.

“We are providing resources and access to capital for small businesses through SBA’s 7(a) and 504 loan programs,” said Rob Scott, the SBA’s Region V Administrator. “We’ve reduced the time it takes to process loans and changed over to electronic processing.  We believe that these efficiencies and the President’s tax cuts and deregulatory actions will help more small businesses grow and prosper in the coming year.”

7(a) loans
In FY18 there were approximately 60,353 7(a) loans made nationwide, with a total dollar amount of $25.37 billion. The 7(a) program is SBA’s flagship program, which offers guarantees on loans to small businesses of up to $5 million on reasonable terms and conditions. 7(a) loans are commonly used for acquiring land, purchasing equipment, or working capital.

In Illinois, 2,034 7(a) loans worth more than $906 million were approved, an increase of about 6 percent over 2017 figures. The top lender by volume was Byline Bank, which approved 157 loans worth $173,663,200. The top lender by number of loans was the Huntington National Bank, which approved 267 loans totaling more than $74 million.

504 loans
Nationally, the SBA’s 504 loan program had another year of high performance for lending, with 5,874 loans made for a total dollar amount of over $4.75 billion. 504 loans provide small businesses with long-term fixed rate financing to acquire fixed assets, and are available through Certified Development Companies (CDCs), SBA’s community-based partners. 

In Illinois, borrowers received nearly 300 504 loans totaling $196,727,000, making the Illinois District Office second among SBA’s more than 60 district offices for 504 loans approved. Small Business Growth Corp. was again the top performing CDC in the state, approving 159 loans worth nearly $106 million, more than 50 percent of the statewide total volume.  

Other FY18 Illinois lending highlights

  • In Illinois, borrowers were approved for 99 microloans worth $537,704 through partner lenders. Justine PETERSEN was the No. 1 microlender.
  • Minority-owned businesses received 579 SBA-guaranteed loans worth $276,685,600.
  • Women-owned businesses received 402 SBA-guaranteed loans worth $148,808,300.
  • Veteran-owned businesses received 62 SBA-guaranteed loans worth $19,864,000.

In FY18 SBA launched the 25-year Debenture, which offers an extra 60 months of financing at a fixed rate for small businesses. Since its introduction in April, over 1,000 debentures had been sold by the end of September.

The SBA continued to innovate and improve processes by leveraging enhanced technologies. Lender Match is an SBA technology platform that gives entrepreneurs the ability to complete a quick online form, without registration or cost, and be connected with an approved SBA lender within 48 hours. To date, Lender Match has generated 3.6 million leads on behalf of small businesses to our lenders and over 160,000 unique borrowers have been contacted by lenders with financing options. 

Another technological innovation was the development of the SBA’s Franchise Directory, which was launched this year and has resulted in an over 50 percent increase in eligible franchise brands. There are currently 3,192 brands on the Franchise Directory. When the directory was first published in October 2017 there were only 2,034 brands.  In FY18, SBA has seen a year over year increase of over 21 percent in 7(a) and 504 dollars going to franchises.

For more information about SBA’s loan programs, financial assistance and other services, visit


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, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit