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Veteran Entrepreneurs Take Note - Georgia lenders seeing healthy uptick in SBA loans

Posted by Michael Horn on Fri, May 22, 2015 @ 11:25 AM

Here is an excellent business loan article by Phil W. Hudson in the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The SBA loan program provides great opportuntity for veteran entrepreneurs seeking debt financing. This is about the Atlanta market, but the news is applicable nationwide. Funding is available from many sources. Veterans need to seek out all of those sources and select the best one for their situation.  Visit the SBA site to find top ranked lenders in your area.

Hudson writes-Georgia's SBA lenders are seeing healthy activity in 2015 as loans are outpacing 2014's numbers.

In the first six months of this fiscal year (October 2014 through April 10, 2015), SBA lenders granted 919 loans for $639 million, compared with 1,360 loans for $970.1 million in all 12 months of fiscal 2014, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration Georgia District.

Terri Denison, SBA's Georgia director, thinks the uptick is attributabIe to an increase in confidence in the economy. "During the recession, and even a few years after the recession, they were very reluctant to either think about starting a business, or, if it's an existing business, to expand or upgrade," Denison said. "They really just wanted to maintain the status quo. Now, you have people who thought about starting a business take steps towards that goal and existing businesses are now looking to expand or upgrade their capacity and facilities."

Wells Fargo & Co., which led 7(a) lending in Georgia for 2014 by number of loans, is seeing positive signs in lending in 2015 and has increased loan units and dollars year-over-year in Georgia.

For the first five months of fiscal year 2015, Wells Fargo has more than doubled the number of SBA 7(a) loans (89 units) and tripled the dollar volume of SBA loans (more than $22 million) it has approved in the state from a year ago, said Jonathon S. Kaye, regional SBA sales manager for Wells Fargo. "It's an indicator that the economy is improving for small businesses," Kaye said. "Healthier businesses in stronger industries are in a better position to get approved for credit, and business owners are more confident about pursuing financing for their businesses."

Kaye says his bank is seeing more small business owners in Atlanta looking to expand into larger facilities or purchase their own land and buildings.

Synovus Financial Corp which ranked No.4 by total dollar amount in Georgia for 2014, said its SBA 7(a) loan volume nation-wide is up 26 percent compared with the same period in fiscal 2014. "Our overall SBA 7(a) loan volume has increased over 50 percent from this time last year, so we are obviously getting an increasing share of the market, which is evidenced by our move up the rankings for total dollar loan production in the state of Georgia," said Adrienne Sipe, director of Synovus Government Guaranteed Lending.

Sipe added Synovus has seen an increase in requests for existing businesses looking to expand operations, as well as new construction loans for either the expansion of existing facilities or borrowers looking to move into their own facilities versus continuing to rent.

Jeff Nager, SBA division executive for SunTrust Banks Inc., said SunTrust is also seeing 'growth in SBA lending. "We grew year-over-year over 45 percent and we're up this [fiscal] year as well," Nager said. "The thing I've been seeing especially in the Atlanta market, which I think is exerting, is more and more dollars are going to companies that are growing or expanding and not just recapitalizing."

Nager said most ofthe transactions are for buying or expanding businesses and for providing succession planning, which are all converting to increased employment numbers. "Over the last couple of years, we've started to see more and more transactions by companies that are looking to grow," he said.

Topics: Veteran, Entrepreneurs, Loans, Small Business