SBA loans increased Q4 2012

SBA financing jumped during the final months of 2012, a new report indicated. According to the Quarterly Lending Bulletin released by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), lending to small companies increased by 0.4 percent in the fourth quarter of last year. Approved business loans rose from $584.1 billion in September 2012 to $586 billion in December. This represents the first gain seen in ten quarters, the data revealed. 

Lending on the rise 
Entrepreneurs seeking loans of all sizes may have had better luck when looking for business financing during the final months of the year. Loans valued under $100,000, between $100,000 and $1 million, and under $1 million all increased.

Even though the loan gains were small, they do represent a changing attitude among business owners and lenders. The SBA's bulletin hinted consistently improving financial conditions and markets combined with low interest rates are making it more desirable for entrepreneurs to take out loans and less risky for lenders to provide companies with financing options. However, small-business owners could still face challenges in the months ahead, especially as commercial real estate loan conditions have yet to open up the market to a broader range of entrepreneurs. 

How can small-business owners get loans? 
With loans slowly becoming more accessible to business owners across the country and the economy showing signs of improvement, more may soon look for a way to receive lending to launch or grow their companies. However, some may be unsure of where to start their search for loans or how to determine if their enterprises qualify for startup financing or growth capital.

Entrepreneurs who need more information about the SBA loan program and help obtaining a loan will find it helpful to work with a small or mid-sized local bank to get the information they need. While bigger banks may seem as though they provide more options for business owners and can offer more solutions, smaller financial institutions may actually be able to provide more personalized service, loan assistance and cash management choices for company leaders. 

As the potential for entrepreneurs to obtain SBA loans increases, it is important for business owners to stay on top of market trends, as well as business needs and company finances. Small and mid-sized banks can help firms navigate these areas and ensure success in the future. 

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