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SBA Helped Wisconsin Small Businesses Access Nearly $564 Million to Start, Grow and Expand in FY 19

Nationally, SBA backed more than 63,000 small business loans totaling $28+ billion in FY 19
Release Date: 
Thursday, October 17, 2019
Release Number: 
Shirah Apple/

MILWAUKEE– The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Wisconsin District helped the state’s small businesses access $564 million in capital via its various loan programs in fiscal year 2019, which ended on September 30, 2019. Across the nation, the federal agency backed more than $28 billion in loans to entrepreneurs who, without the SBA, would otherwise be unable to access loans at reasonable rates.

“Even with a strong economy in which banks have more comfort with conventional lending, small businesses can still struggle to access to the funds they need to start, grow and expand,” SBA Great Lakes Regional Administrator Rob Scott said. “All businesses start small and our work in this region is essential for empowering local job creators and supporting them in their contributions to economic development and innovation.”

In Wisconsin SBA backed 1329 loans, including 80 microloans. Of note was a rise in SBA 504 loans that help small businesses get long-term, fixed-interest capital to acquire fixed assets such as real estate, additional machinery, equipment and construction efforts. This type of financing assists small businesses with maximizing cash flow as they grow and promotes economic development. This was a national trend as well, with SBA 504 loans reaching a total of almost $5 billion – a 4% growth over FY 18. In Wisconsin, growth in both dollars and numbers in the 504 program was 17% over FY 18, with 175 loans made for nearly $136 million.  

“One of our top goals here in Wisconsin and an SBA core priority, is to get more capital into the hands of entrepreneurs to assist with their growth and expansion,” said SBA’s Wisconsin District Director Eric Ness. “The impact for businesses, employees, and the community can be profound.”  For instance, Hudson-based Croix Gear, a family-owned maker of specialized gear products, worked with one of two Wisconsin-based SBA 504 lenders to fund a major expansion and modernize its existing facility in 2016.  The company has doubled its employment to 74 and added 20 new pieces of equipment to its shop floor.

Nationally, SBA’s Microloan amounts also rose and achieved a record total level, helping approximately 5,500 small businesses, typically start-up and under-represented entrepreneurs, access over $81.5 million. This program offers loans to not-for-profit lending intermediaries that, in turn, make up to $50,000 loans to small businesses on reasonable terms. The average microloan is approximately $14,800 and can be essential for providing newly forming businesses with solid capital footing. Wisconsin, though, did not see a microloan increase in the state.

In SBA’s other main loan category, Wisconsin had 1,074 SBA-backed 7(a) loans totaling $426.3 million (approximately 16% lower than FY 18). As SBA Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton noted, “When the economy is doing well, 7(a) lenders are more willing to provide capital without the need for a federal loan guarantee.”


In addition to its beneficial loan programs, SBA’s Lender Match platform has helped connect   entrepreneurs with SBA-approved lenders within 48 hours via a quick online form without registration or cost to the user. To date, Lender Match has generated 4.4 million small business leads to our lenders, and lenders have contacted more than 230,000 unique borrowers with financing options.




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