SBA loans rise sharply in Southern California

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The number of small business owners in Southern California looking to the U.S. Small Business Administration for help financing their new business formation is on the rise.

Over the nine-month period which ended on June 30, the number of SBA-backed loans in Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties rose 51 percent compared to a year earlier, to 1,725. The dollar amount of those loans showed an even larger year-over-year jump – rising 93 percent to more than $850 million.

Local SBA officials told the Los Angeles Business Journal that the agency has worked hard to make it easy for entrepreneurs to get the capital they need to create a corporation. This has been accomplished through new training programs for bank lending officers that emphasize government-backed loan options.

The programs provide up to a 90-percent loan guarantee for financial institutions that issue the loans – reducing the potential risk for the bank.

The rise is reflective of a growth in interest in the SBA’s programs nationwide. The agency says that as of August 6, it had help support more than $29.4 billion in small business loans for entrepreneurs and small business owners.