Government-backed lending to small businesses in El Paso County is on a pace to set a record in for a second consecutive year, according to data from the U.S. Small Business Administration for the first three quarters of the fiscal year.
Thirty-four lenders have made 193 loans in the county totaling $44.8 million, which is on a pace to break last year’s county record of $57.5 million in SBA-backed lending. SBA lending, measured by the amount loaned, is down about 10 percent from the period a year ago both statewide and nationwide. The SBA measures its lending based on the federal government’s fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.
“This is remarkable because lending is down across the nation. It shows that businesses in El Paso County still have access to capital,” said Becky Fuller, who organized a program in 2006 to boost local small-business lending by training bankers on how to make the government-backed loans. She also is southern Colorado business development manager for Colorado Lending Source, the state’s top SBA lender so far this year, based on the amount loaned.
U.S. Bank is the top local SBA lender so far this year with 42 loans totaling $3.62 million, ranking it ahead of Chase Bank with 36 loans for $3.88 million and Wells Fargo Bank with 24 loans for $4.31 million. Wachovia SBA Lending Inc. is the top lender based on the amount loaned with 12 loans for $8.02 million, followed by Colorado Lending Source with 13 loans for $6.41 million and Pikes Peak Regional Development Corp. with 13 loans for $5.88 million.