Business

Small businesses in SLO County got $35.6 million in SBA loans last fiscal year

The U.S. Small Business Administration awarded 97 loans totaling $35.6 million to small businesses in San Luis Obispo County during the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, making it one of the most active SBA loan areas in its district.

The district includes Fresno, Monterey and Tulare counties.

The total amount of loans is up from the previous fiscal year, when the SBA approved about $28.7 million in loans in San Luis Obispo County to 84 businesses.

Only Fresno and Kern counties consistently get a larger slice of the pie.

In the same time frame, Fresno County business owners received 149 loans with a total value of $64 million, and Kern County business owners received 104 loans totaling $44.5 million. Those figures were up from the previous year as well.

The SBA works differently from other lenders by loaning money to businesses through banks instead of giving loans directly to a business.

In San Luis Obispo County, the majority of the loans went through Coast National Bank, which approved 34 SBA loans totaling $12.9 million this past fiscal year. The bank was also the largest provider in 2012, providing 17 loans totaling about $6.4 million.

Coast National Bank is the only lender in San Luis Obispo County to provide more than a dozen SBA loans this past fiscal year.

Other lenders include CoastHills Federal Credit Union, Mission Community Bank and Founders Community Bank.

Overall, the Fresno District office — which comprises 15 counties throughout Central California — saw an increase in lending dollars this fiscal year, with more than $283 million in total lending, according to an SBA news release.

The SBA offers a variety of loan options for small businesses, from debt refinancing to purchasing new equipment. More information on SBA loans is available at www.sba.gov.

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