The state’s small business owners received a record $869 million in loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.
The increase in approved loans was nearly 33 percent over 2016, from 1,755 to 2,326, the first time in nine years the state office approved more than 2,000 loans, according to SBA New Jersey District Director Al Titone.
That translated to the creation of 8,666 jobs and helped retain another 10,671 jobs, he said.
“When it comes to accessing capital, this has been an incredible year for New Jersey small business owners,” Titone said. “New Jersey ranked sixth in the country in number of SBA loan approvals and 13th nationwide in dollar volume. An economy that continues to improve has translated into more loans and dollars for New Jersey entrepreneurs to start or expand their small businesses across the state.”
Cumberland County saw the biggest percentage increase, with an 86 percent jump. It went from 14 loan approvals in 2016 to 26 in 2017.
Salem County had an 80 percent increase; Passaic County went up 63 percent; and Essex County had 51 percent more loan approvals.
Atlantic, Mercer and Sussex counties were the only three of the 21 counties to see a decrease in number of loans.
Nationally, the SBA approved more than 68,000 loans for more than $30 billion during the past year.
“We all know that a better economy leads to more spending, and more spending leads to investment in equipment that spurs production, which contributes to healthy economic growth here in New Jersey.” Titone said. “I am extremely pleased that 18 of the 21 counties in New Jersey saw increases in SBA loan approvals this year, which tells us that our lending programs are making an impact in almost every area of the state.”
A breakout of the loan data showed that 67.6 percent of all loans went to existing businesses, while 32.4 percent went to startup companies. Bergen County led all SBA lending, with 366 loans for $136 million.
The SBA worked with 109 lenders throughout fiscal year 2017, according to Titone.
The Top 5 lenders were:
- TD Bank, 738 loans, $53.4 million;
- JPMorgan Chase Bank, 135 loans, $23.3 million;
- Wells Fargo Bank, 127 loans, $22.3 million;
- M&T Bank, 90 loans, $15 million;
- Santander Bank, 56 loans, $8.7 million.
This past year, SBA has launched its online lender referral tool Lender Match.
“The idea is to always be thinking of streamlining and simplifying whenever possible, when it comes to giving entrepreneurs access to capital,” Titone said. “Our work here is never done. In 2018, our goal is to see that all 21 counties in the state share in an increase in loan approvals. Our efforts will continue to be focused on increasing the number of loan approvals in underserved communities.”
The loan totals for New Jersey’s 21 counties, by total dollars, were:
- Bergen, 366 loans, $136.2 million;
- Middlesex, 201 loans, $83.2 million;
- Union, 143 loans, $65.4 million;
- Essex, 183 loans, $63.7 million;
- Monmouth, 205 loans, $57.1 million;
- Passaic, 122 loans, $55.4 million;
- Burlington, 132 loans, $53.9 million;
- Hudson, 129 loans, $53.1 million;
- Camden, 126 loans, $40.8 million;
- Ocean, 147 loans, $40.7 million;
- Mercer, 82 loans, $40.5 million;
- Morris, 119 loans, $40.1 million;
- Somerset, 83 loans, $37.9 million;
- Cape May, 61 loans, $31.7 million;
- Gloucester, 64 loans, $20.4 million;
- Atlantic, 54 loans, $16.8 million;
- Hunterdon, 35 loans, $13.7 million;
- Cumberland, 26 loans, $8.5 million;
- Warren, 26 loans, $5.7 million;
- Sussex, 13 loans, $2.8 million;
- Salem, 9 loans, $1.4 million.