Volume And Value Of MN’s SBA Loans Dip Again

Volume And Value Of MN’s SBA Loans Dip Again

About $590 million worth of SBA loans were approved in Minnesota during the latest fiscal year, down from last year; the state, however, remains a national leader in SBA lending.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) said this week that it approved 1,682 loans in Minnesota, together worth $590 million, during the fiscal year that ended September 30.

Banks and other lending institutions offer SBA loan programs to assist small businesses, and such loans are guaranteed by the SBA.

Both the volume and value of Minnesota’s loans were down from the previous fiscal year, when the SBA approved 1,729 loans worth $626 million.

The year before that, loan volume and value were higher yet, at 1,948 loans worth $713 million, although officials have said that a stimulus program temporarily boosted that year’s output.

Andrew Amoroso, deputy district director for Minnesota’s SBA office, told Twin Cities Business on Thursday that last year’s dip in loan volume can largely be attributed to the fact that an SBA 504 loan program related to mortgage refinancing expired in September 2012.

“If that program was still on, we probably would’ve been very close to last year’s numbers,” he said.

Meanwhile, the number of Minnesota lenders that used the SBA’s guaranteed loan programs also fell during the latest fiscal year. Roughly 187 of the state’s institutions tapped SBA programs, compared to about 212 the prior year.

Despite the decline in SBA loan activity, Minnesota’s office ranked seventh out of all 68 U.S. SBA offices with respect to total loan approvals. That’s the same position it ranked last year.

“Minnesota continues to be a leader in the country in providing loans to our small business community,” according to Amoroso.

Minnesota’s SBA office ranked sixth in the nation for the number of 504 Certified Development Company loans, which provide long-term, fixed-rate financing to small businesses for land and building acquisitions, as well as construction or renovation of existing facilities and sites. It approved 297 such loans worth $159 million.

The local office approved 1,385 loans worth $431 million through the SBA’s Lender Guaranty Program, which provides loans to banks or other private lenders, the proceeds of which may be used to finance real estate, equipment, working capital, and inventory.

According to the SBA, the following 10 institutions lent the most money in SBA loans, respectively: Wells Fargo, Minnesota Business Finance Corporation, Twin Cities-Metro Certified Development Company, Bremer Bank, U.S. Bank, Venture Bank, SPEDCO, Prairieland Economic Development Corporation, Central Minnesota Development Company, and Sunrise Banks.

According to the SBA, the 10 institutions that made the highest volume of SBA loans in Minnesota during the latest fiscal year were: U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo, Twin Cities-Metro Certified Development Company, Minnesota Business Finance Corporation, Bremer Bank, Venture Bank, Associated Bank, SPEDCO, 21st Century Bank, and Falcon National Bank.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo, which maintains a major Minnesota presence, announced that it was honored on the national stage for its small-business lending. It was named the SBA’s “Large 7(a) Lender of the Year,” as it lent the highest dollar value of such SBA loans to U.S. small businesses. The company said it extended a record $1.47 billion in SBA 7(a) loans.

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank, meanwhile, said that it committed to 2,519 SBA loans worth $639 million—ranking it as the nation’s second-largest SBA lender based on loan volume.

The latest SBA data refers to SBA loan “approvals”; it’s up to lenders to actually close the loans, but the “vast majority” of loans approved were closed and disbursed to small businesses, according to Amoroso.