The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Illinois District helped the state’s small businesses access $1.1 billion in capital via its various loan programs in fiscal year 2019, which ended Sept. 30.
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 Illinois, the SBA backed approximately 2,150 loans. Locally, the numbers show:
– Madison County: 26 SBA-guaranteed loans made worth $11,701,100. Some 11 of those loans were to new businesses, and 15 of those were to female-owned businesses.
– St. Clair County: 16 SBA-guaranteed loans worth $3,345,200 were made. Seven of those were to new businesses, and eight were to female-owned businesses.
– Monroe County: Six SBA-guaranteed loans worth $6,922,400 were made. Three of those were to new businesses, and five were to female-owned businesses.
Of note in Illinois 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.
In Illinois, 266 of these types of loans worth $207,440,000 were approved in FY ’19 – a dollar-value increase of more than 5 percent over the previous fiscal year.
This was a national trend as well, with SBA 504 loans reaching a total of almost $5 billion – a 4 percent growth over FY ’18.
“One of our top goals here in Illinois, 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 Illinois District Director Robert Steiner.
Nationally, SBA’s Microloan amounts also rose to a record total level, helping approximately 5,500 small businesses, typically start-up and under-represented entrepreneurs, access over $81.5 million.
Illinois also saw growth in this program in 2019. Last year, 99 microloans worth $537,704 were made; this year, those figures increased to 110 loans worth $552,561. 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.
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.