Small business loans for start-up businesses under the SBA’s 7a loan program, increased to 8,320 for the seven month period ending April 30, 2014 according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. This represents an approximate 5% increase over the same period last year. These start-up loans represented approximately 31% of the business loans approved during this period.
The emphasis on smaller loans by SBA also seems to be bearing fruit. Approximately 59% or over 16,000 business loans approved during this period were for start-up loans under $150,000, up from 55% during the same period last year.
Loans to Veterans represented only 4% of the loans approved, decreasing from 5% the prior year. One would hope that with the winding down of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that more lenders would reach out to veterans. The International Franchise Associations VetFran program offers assistance to veterans seeking to start franchise businesses.
There did not seem to be any significant increase in business loans to minorities, which represented only 23% of the loans approved, substantially the same as the prior two years.
Perhaps the implementation of the new Small Business Scoring System (SBSS) required by SBA for loans $350,000 and under will provide an opportunity for veterans and minority small business borrowers to overcome their reluctance to seek financing from SBA lenders. Borrowers can now get learn their score at bQual.com and perhaps even pre-qualify for a loan.