SBA lent $564 million to Wisconsin businesses in FY19

The final numbers are in, and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Wisconsin District was very helpful to the state’s small businesses this past year.

Even with a strong economy in which banks have more comfort with conventional lending, the SBA helped the state’s small businesses access $564 million in capital via its various loan programs in fiscal year 2019, which ended on Sept. 30. Nationwide, the federal agency backed more than $28 billion in loans to entrepreneurs, many of who would otherwise be unable to access loans at reasonable rates.

In Wisconsin, the SBA backed 1,329 loans, including 80 microloans. Of particular note 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, and equipment. Statewide, growth in both dollars and numbers in the 504 program was up 17 percent over FY18, with 175 loans made for nearly $136 million. Nationally, SBA 504 loans reached a total of almost $5 billion, a 4 percent increase over FY18.

“One of our top goals here in Wisconsin, and an SBA core priority, is to get more capital into the hands of entrepreneurs to assist with their growth and expansion,” states SBA’s Wisconsin District Director Eric Ness. “The impact for businesses, employees, and the community can be profound.” 

Nationally, SBA’s microloan amounts also rose and reached a record level, helping approximately 5,500 small businesses, typically startup and underrepresented entrepreneurs, access over $81.5 million.

In SBA’s other main loan category, Wisconsin had 1,074 SBA-backed 7(a) loans totaling $426.3 million, but that was 16 percent lower than FY18. As SBA Acting Administrator Chris Pilkerton notes, “When the economy is doing well, 7(a) lenders are more willing to provide capital without the need for a federal loan guarantee.”