Small business lending drops in 2022 but still second best on record in Nebraska | Nebraska

Small business lending dropped off considerably in the past year in Nebraska, but the numbers were still strong.

According to the Small Business Administration, there was $198.7 million worth of SBA loan guarantees in the state in its 2022 fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, which was down about $45 million from the record number in fiscal year 2021.

But the total loan volume in 2022 was still the second highest ever in Nebraska and was $30 million more than the year ranking third.

“The funding numbers for fiscal year 2022 far exceeded our expectations,” Tim Mittan, district director for the SBA Nebraska Office, said in a news release.

While it wasn’t close to a record year for overall lending, one category did hit a record.

The SBA said 85 businesses were approved for what are known as 504 loans worth $74.4 million, up substantially from 77 of the loans worth $50.5 million in 2021.

The 504 loans, which allow businesses to buy large equipment or build, buy or expand buildings, are facilitated through nonprofit lenders called certified development companies.

Nebraska Economic Development Co., which is based in Lincoln, is the largest 504 lender in a four-state area.

Scott Sailors, NEDCO’s president, said it did 81 of those loans worth about $68.7 million, which set records for the organization.

Sailors said NEDCO did a lot of loans for medical and dental offices and also saw a small rebound in hotel projects, which had essentially dried up during the pandemic.

He also said higher interest rates have yet to put a damper on many projects.

“We see people just going full steam ahead,” Sailors said.

NEDCO ranked 28th overall out of about 200 certified development companies nationwide for loan volume in FY 2022, and nearly all the CDCs ahead of it are based in much larger cities.

In addition to Lincoln-based NEDCO leading the way on 504 loans, two Lincoln banks were the top lenders for traditional SBA 7(a) loans in Nebraska in the most recent fiscal year.

First State Bank Nebraska was the top lender by number of loans with 42, while Union Bank & Trust was second with 28.

Measured by amount of loans, Union Bank was first with about $12.4 million, while First State was second with nearly $10.8 million.

Overall, the SBA Nebraska Office said the nearly $200 million worth of 504 and 7(a) loans in FY 2022 created or saved more than 3,750 jobs in the state.

Those weren’t the only loans Nebraskans took advantage of, though.

SBA Omaha reported it guaranteed 85 microloans for $1.6 million, up from 61 loans for $1.2 million last year. Microloans are loans of $50,000 or less available to eligible small businesses and nonprofit child care providers.

And business owners in the state continued to take advantage of pandemic loan programs.

SBA Omaha said Nebraskans received 1,716 Economic Injury Disaster Loans worth nearly $328 million in FY 2022. That was down from more than 15,000 loans worth more than $1.2 billion in FY 2021, but the program was only available for three months of the SBA’s fiscal year.

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