SBA Sets New National Small Business Lending Records

Jan 10th, 2017 | By | Category: Finance/Investment

Press Release

In FY16, 7(a) loan program reaches more than $24.12 billion; 504 loan total grows for third consecutive year; minority lending reaches $8.65billion

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration announced FY16 lending numbers in December showing record levels of small business lending through the 7(a) and 504 loan programs, as well as significant increases in lending to women, veterans and underserved communities.

7(a) Loan Program

SBA approved more than 70,000 loans in the 7(a) and 504 loan programs in FY16.  These programs provided nearly $28.9 billion to small businesses and supported nearly 694,000 jobs.

SBA’s flagship loan program, referred to as 7(a), provides small businesses with comprehensive financial assistance covering the vast majority of small business needs including working capital, fixed and intangible asset financing, as well as refinance and export support through term and revolving loans. In FY16, the 7(a) program supported a record number of loans — more than $24.12 billion combined across 64,073 loans.  Both the total number and dollar amount of 7(a) loans increased by 1 percent and 2.6 percent respectively over the previous year. SBA continues to streamline and improve access to its loan program for small loans and underserved markets delivering more than 44,000 small loans of $350,000 or less in FY16.

504 Loan Program

504 loans provide small businesses with long-term fixed rate financing to acquire fixed assets for expansion or modernization. 504 loans are available through Certified Development Companies (CDCs), SBA’s community-based partners.  In FY16, the 504 program grew by more than 10 percent to $4.74 billion (the third consecutive year of growth) and a 2 percent growth in loan volume.  Reauthorization of the 504 Debt Refinancing ProgramDownload Adobe Reader to read this link content in May was instrumental in the success of the 504 Program in FY16.

Other Areas of Record-Setting Lending

SBA lending had a significant positive effect on various underserved groups in FY16.  Minority business owners received a record combined $8.65 billion in 7(a) and 504 approved lending. This record reflects the priority of the Administration and SBA in helping communities that historically find it difficult to access capital.

Women-owned businesses

For the fifth consecutive year, 7(a) lending to women-owned businesses (both majority and minority owned) increased in total dollar and volume. FY16 lending was nearly $7.3 billion, an increase of $253 million from FY15.

504 loans are up for the third year in a row.  FY16 504 lending exceeded $646.6 million with lending to women-owned businesses increasing by 5.9 percent or $36.3 million over the previous year.

Community Advantage

Community Advantage Loans provide up to an 85 percent guarantee on loans up to $250,000 and offers technical assistance to improve the rate of success among participants. This initiative grew by nearly 19 percent over the previous year in both dollar amounts and percent growth in loans approved, continuing a pattern of dramatic growth in this successful high-impact program.


SBA’s Microlending program has proven highly effective in helping very small businesses get off the ground. This program reached record levels again this year with 14 percent growth in dollar amount from $53 million to $60.57 million, and a more than 18 percent increase in loan approvals.

Small Business Investment Company (SBIC)

To fuel high-growth small businesses and start-ups and drive innovation, SBA issued more than $2.5 billion in debenture leverage supporting more than $5.5 billion in financing to more than 1,100 small businesses. These funds helped to sustain nearly 112,000 jobs.


The total number of SBA loans to veterans is up more than 4 percent over the previous year and for the second year in a row 7(a)/504 lending to this group surpassed $1.36 billion.


SBA’s export loan program helps American small businesses reach customers in the global market and compete on an equal footing in countries around the world. In FY16 SBA had another record year guaranteeing more than 1,800 small business export loans, which supported more than $1.5 billion in financing to small business exporters.

Disaster Assistance

In FY16, SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance responded to 289 declared disasters across the country, including processing more than 59,150 home and 8,531 business applications and approving 25,235 loans for more than $1.4 billion

For more information about SBA’s loan programs, financial assistance and other services, visit

SBA lending infographic

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