SBA – Under Bidenomics agenda, agency has increased number and dollar amount of loans across several small business capital programs
WASHINGTON – Today, ahead of the biggest shopping day of the year, U.S. Small Business Administrator Isabel Casillas Guzman announced that the SBA delivered $50 billion in capital, disaster relief, and bonding to small businesses and disaster-impacted communities across America in Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23). Under the Biden-Harris Administration, the SBA experienced another banner year of lending with increases in its microloan program, as well as its flagship 7(a) Loan Program — the agency’s primary vehicle for providing funding to small businesses. In addition, the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to equity advanced further with significant increases in SBA lending to Black, Latino, Asian American, Pacific Islander and Native Hawaiian, Native American, women, and veteran small business owners in FY23.
“Starting and running a business takes tremendous grit and determination, but it also takes capital — something too many enterprising Americans have historically been unable to obtain equitably and affordably,” said SBA Administrator Guzman. “The Biden-Harris Administration remains committed to simplifying and addressing persistent inequities in accessing capital to ensure all small business owners can get the funding needed to grow and create jobs for our economy. In Fiscal Year 2023, the SBA transformed its lending and investment programs and expanded its capital partners to deliver nearly $50 billion in startup, growth, and recovery capital, as well as surety bonds, including more small business lending to people of color, women, and veterans. As we build on our progress, the SBA will continue to prioritize reforms that will help level the playing field to further the small business boom fostered by Bidenomics.”
Highlights of the SBA’s FY23 lending include a notable increase in the number and value of 7(a) loans to small businesses across America, as well as a rise in the number of small-dollar loans distributed through this essential program. The SBA also made strides in its ongoing efforts to close persistent gaps in capital, particularly for entrepreneurs from underserved communities. Since President Biden took office, the SBA has more than doubled the number and total dollar amount of loans to Black-owned small businesses and, in FY23, delivered a record amount of loan dollars to Latino-owned small businesses. And, after declining between 2016 and 2020, the number of loans to women-owned businesses is back on the rise under the Biden-Harris Administration.
By the Numbers: Overall Funding and Impact
In FY23, the SBA continued to innovate and retool its programs, while deepening outreach efforts to business owners across the nation, particularly those from underserved communities. FY23 regular business lending and investment programs data of note includes:
- $27.5 billion in 7(a) loans: Rising above pre-pandemic levels, the SBA backed more than 57,300 7(a) loans worth $27.5 billion to small businesses in FY23. In total, nearly 70% of the SBA’s 7(a) loan volume (more than 39,000 loans) were small-dollar loans of $350,000 or less, with the program originating more loans under $150,000 in FY23 than in FY22, FY21, and FY20 — an overall 45% increase since President Biden took office.
- $6.4 billion in 504 loans: In FY23, the SBA’s 504 program delivered more than 5,900 fixed-rate loans for equipment, real estate, and debt refinancing worth more than $6.4 billion to small businesses.
- $87 million in microloan funding: In FY23, $87 million in microloan funding went to more than 5,500 small businesses, with 35% of loans going to Black-owned businesses and 15% of loans going to Latino-owned businesses.
- $670 million in disaster assistance for small businesses: Throughout the year, the SBA stepped up in moments of crisis to deliver critical support to business owners and communities in need. FY23 saw $670 million in relief delivered to more than 5,200 businesses across America.
- $8 billion in funding through private debt and equity funds licensed as Small Business Investment Companies (SBICs): In FY23, the SBIC program recorded highs of $8 billion in investments. The SBA’s portfolio of 318 SBIC funds collectively provided financing to more than 1,200 small businesses and startups in FY23, which created or sustained over 130,000 jobs.
- $7.3 billion in surety bonds: In FY23, the SBA’s Surety Bond Guarantee Program enabled 1,900 small businesses in the construction, services, supply and manufacturing industries to obtain 3,400 private and public contracts. Furthermore, 62% of the SBA’s guarantees went to women, minority, or veteran businesses.
- $670 million in export-related trade finance: Achieving a second-consecutive year of export finance growth, and despite a rising interest rate environment, the SBA underwrote $365 million in Export Express and International Trade term loans, alongside its Export Working Capital portfolio of $305 million.
Closing the Capital Access Gap by Ensuring Small Businesses Have Products to Meet Today’s Needs
Under Administrator Guzman’s leadership, the SBA expanded access to its core lending programs and is better meeting the needs of today’s entrepreneurs. These efforts have been beneficial not only to American job creation, exports, and GDP but also to the entrepreneurs who typically struggle to access the resources their businesses need to thrive.
- Addressing systemic gaps in access to capital for the smallest, underserved businesses: Administrator Guzman authorized the expansion of the Community Advantage program to increase the number of mission-based lenders and further streamlined eligibility and underwriting requirements to simplify the delivery of small-dollar loans through the 7(a) Loan Program.
- Closing longstanding market gaps with bold action: In FY23, for the first time in more than 40 years, the SBA awarded new Small Business Lending Company (SBLC) licenses to non-depository lenders that serve under-resourced markets across the U.S., including rural and Native communities, and communities experiencing persistent poverty. The expansion of this program will create more competition in the lending marketplace, allowing entrepreneurs to pursue the best possible deal for the capital they need to start and maintain a thriving business. The new SBLC licensees will support the SBA’s ongoing efforts to increase access to affordable capital for business owners in underserved markets across the United States, building significantly on the Biden-Harris Administration’s agenda to advance equity and build an inclusive economy.
- Supporting minority-owned businesses by broadening access to capital: Under the Biden-Harris Administration, the SBA continues to grow its 7(a) and 504 lending footprint with minority-owned businesses, including those owned by Black, Latino, Native, AAPI, women, and veteran entrepreneurs.
- Black-owned businesses: In FY23, the SBA backed 4,700 loans to Black-owned businesses totaling $1.5 billion. Total loans and total loan dollars have more than doubled under the Biden-Harris Administration.
- Latino-owned businesses: In FY23, the SBA backed 7,700 loans to Latino-owned businesses, totaling $3 billion. Total loans have doubled under the Biden-Harris Administration, and total loan dollars are up more than 80%.
- AAPI-owned businesses: In FY23, the SBA backed 7,500 loans to AAPI-owned businesses, totaling more than $6.4 billion. Total loans are up 44% under the Biden-Harris Administration, and total loan dollars are up 36%.
- Native-owned businesses: In FY23, the SBA backed 500 loans to Native-owned small businesses, totaling $278 million. Total loans are up 70% under the Biden-Harris Administration, and total loan dollars have nearly doubled.
- Women-owned businesses: In FY23, the SBA backed 13,000 loans to women-owned small businesses, totaling $5 billion. Total loans are up 70% under the Biden-Harris Administration, and total loan dollars are up 61%.
- Veteran-owned businesses: In FY23, the SBA backed 2,800 loans to veteran-owned businesses, totaling $1.2 billion. Total loans are up 33% under the Biden-Harris Administration, and total loan dollars are up 40%.
- Strengthening lender oversight and safeguards against waste and fraud: While expanding its lending footprint in FY23, the SBA took forceful action to manage program risk and protect Americans and small business owners from fraud. In FY23 alone, the SBA completed more than 1,000 risk-based reviews of its lenders, the highest volume in agency history. In FY23, the SBA also introduced the — which checks every SBA application for potential fraud indicators before approving the loan.
Positioning Our Innovative Small Businesses and Startups for Success in the Early Stages, Across Critical Industries
- Diversifying and expanding the reach of private investment in FY23: Regulatory reforms impacting the SBA’s public-private investment partnership program— the Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) program — went into effect in August 2023. These reforms address structural aspects of the program that historically limited the flow of equity investment to small businesses and startups in underserved areas and undercapitalized industries from funds licensed as SBICs.
- Transforming investment networks: The SBIC portfolio grew to over $42 billion in combined private and public assets under management invested across 318 funds, with interest and demand for SBIC financing on the heels of transformative SBIC regulatory reforms continuing to grow as we step into FY24. By unlocking access to private capital for small businesses and innovative startups in underserved areas and undercapitalized industries critical to our national security, the SBA will accelerate inclusive American economic growth and competitiveness.
Expanding Disaster Loan Program to Help Small Businesses and Communities Recover, Rebuild and Foster Resiliency
- Supporting communities in the wake of disaster: In FY23, the SBA made changes to maximize its ability to help small businesses and the communities they serve recover and rebuild following federally declared disasters. These reforms include an increase in loan limits for homeowners and renters, as well as an extension to the first payment deferment period from 5 to 12 months for all disaster loans — removing the burden for disaster survivors to begin making payments on their disaster loans before communities rebuild and recover.
- Building resilience and mitigating against future disasters: The SBA also made changes to improve its mitigation tactics, in part by eliminating a restriction on property owners to only use disaster loan funds to mitigate a “similar” disaster event that caused damage to their home or business — a change that gives property owners more options to mitigate damage from different types of disasters, reducing the need for future financial assistance and promoting disaster mitigation and resilience.
For more information about SBA’s loan programs, financial assistance, and other services, visit sba.gov.
Article Courtesy of the SBA