SBA loan activity up in Nebraska

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Posted: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 12:00 am

Data from the Small Business Administration shows small businesses in Nebraska are outpacing their peers both regionally and nationally in terms of loan demand through the first half of fiscal 2014.

Compared to the same period last year, Nebraska-based small businesses took out about 3 percent more loans through the federal lender from October 2013 through March 2014.

That may not seem like much, but the dollar volume of those loans increased $77.4 million, or more than 26 percent.

However, in the four-state region comprising Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas and Iowa, total loans were down 11.5 percent and total dollar volume slipped 14.3 percent.

Nationally, total volume for SBA loans was down 6.2 percent through the first half of fiscal 2014.

The SBA credits the increase here at least in part to a waiver of fees, typically due up front, for loans of $150,000 or less. Servicing fees normally paid by lenders have also been waived to promote more activity among smaller loans.

Demand for loans of $150,000 or less is up 10 percent for Nebraska-based small businesses compared to the year-ago period, the SBA reported, and the local appetite for loans — no matter the size — is a good indicator of economic vitality, said Leon Milobar, director of the SBA’s Nebraska district.

“It’s encouraging to see they are continuing to take advantage of our loan programs in steady numbers,” Milobar said.

The top industries for SBA loans in Nebraska so far:

>>Accommodation and food services: $17 million

>>Manufacturing: $14.5 million

>>Health care and social assistance: $13.2 million

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