Rambler Newspapers

Serving Irving, Coppell and Grand Prairie

Small Business Administration Honors DFW Lenders

Irving — William “Bill” Manger, head of the U.S. Small Business Administration Capital Access, honored some of the top North Texas lenders during an awards luncheon at the Las Colinas Country Club on Wednesday, Jan. 15.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations.

“The way the SBA operates is we guarantee loans that are made by banks and non-bank lenders,” Manger said. “If somebody wants to start a restaurant and they go into a bank, the bank may say, ‘That’s a little too much risk for us, we’re not going to make that loan because the risk is too great for us.’ But with an SBA guarantee on that loan, in many instances we guarantee 75 percent of the value of that loan, so we act as a backstop. If we are able to reduce the risk to the bank, they’re more willing to make the loan to that small business.”

SBA loan approvals to entrepreneurs in the Dallas-Fort Worth District (DFW) have surpassed $1 billion for the last three years. The DFW District, which covers 72 Texas counties, remains one of the top loan producers in the South Central Region.

“We have a lot of great lenders in the Dallas-Fort Worth area participating in the SBA [504] loan programs, which are doing extremely well,” Manger said. “We have certified development companies here that are seeing a huge increase in loans to small businesses. And across the country, we are seeing about a 30 percent increase in this program, and there are two reasons for that.

“One is we have extended the term of those loans from 20 years to 25 years, giving small business borrowers an extra 60 months in which to repay the loans. In addition, interest rates are so low right now. With this program, you are getting an interest rate in the vicinity of 4 percent, and to get 4 percent interest rate locked in for 25 years, it’s just amazing for a small business owner. A lot of people want to start their own small business or grow their small business to the next level, and they’re doing that with the help of SBA loans.”