Beyond Emergency Relief, the SBA Made Loans Last Year Totaling $205M in Maine

(From Mainebiz) – Even outside of the massive financial relief programs spurred by the pandemic, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and its lending partners made 417 loans in Maine over the past fiscal year, totaling nearly $205 million.

But more work still needs to be done to help small businesses, the agency said.

Those numbers do not reflect the Paycheck Protection Program, through which more than 19,000 additional loans were made in Maine for nearly $1 billion in 2021. Also not included are the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, through which over 10,000 loans were made, totaling more than $800 million in Maine, the agency said.

“Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve seen our local lenders step up in a huge way with new programs, while still working hard to keep up with our standard loan products,” said Diane Sturgeon, District Director for the SBA Maine district office. “These numbers show that Maine lenders continued making important investments in our small businesses that will be crucial to our economic recovery.”

The SBA said it is honoring all of its partner lending institutions in Maine, with special recognition for the top lenders in several categories.

Bangor Savings Bank approved loans totaling more than $12 million, and was recognized as the overall Leading SBA Bank Lender in Maine.

Deere Employee Credit Union, which merged with Infinity Federal Credit Union of Westbrook, approved loans totaling more than $1.2 million in Maine, and was recognized as the Leading SBA Credit Union Lender.

Granite State Development Corp. was Maine’s Leading Certified Development Company with nearly $38 million in loans in fiscal year 2021.

Coastal Enterprises Inc. was Maine’s Leading SBA Microlender, with loan approvals totaling $390,000.

An additional award, the STAR Award Recipient, will be announced at the online Annual Lender Awards ceremony on Friday. This award will be presented to a lender who has gone above and beyond to increase access to capital for small businesses and ensure that SBA products are fully available to their clients, the agency said.

Despite significant progress in its traditional lending programs, the agency said it is aware of gaps that persist for certain communities in accessing capital. The SBA’s existing loan programs serve an important role in credit markets for small businesses, particularly those with collateral and demonstrated revenue but are denied loans by commercial banks or established lenders.

Addressing the systemic gap in access to capital for the smallest and underserved businesses will be a top SBA priority in fiscal year 2022 and beyond, the agency said.