The U.S. Small Business Administration New Jersey district office reported Wednesday a 12 percent increase in the number of loan approvals to small businesses in the state during the first half of 2014.
According to SBA New Jersey District Director Al Titone, his office approved 590 loans for a total of $295 million from the beginning of October 2013 through the end of March 2014—an increase of 62 loans compared to the same period last year.
“Lender confidence is definitely on the rise,” Titone said in a press release. “We’re seeing an increased interest from lenders in SBA loan products…that is translating into more loan approvals and that’s good for New Jersey small business owners and our local economy.”
Of the 21 counties in New Jersey, 11 showed an increase in loan approvals; eight showed a decrease; and two remained the same.
Gloucester and Somerset Counties saw more than a 100 percent increase in loans; Morris and Ocean Counties saw a 66 percent increase.
But the numbers can be misleading—in Bergen County, for example, the number of loans increased 11 percent this year, but the amount issued—about $31 million—was less than half compared to last year’s $72.2 million in loans.
In Cumberland and Passaic Counties, even though the number of loans decreased slightly, the loan amounts issued this year increased by more than $1 million in Cumberland County and $11.8 million in Passaic County, compared to last year.
And in Hudson, Mercer and Union Counties, although the number of loans decreased only slightly, the loan amounts issued this year decreased by more than $1 million in Hudson County, $6 million in Mercer County and $7.5 million in Union County.
The most dramatic losses were in Burlington and Essex Counties. The number of loans for Burlington County decreased about 49 percent, and the amount issued was approximately $17.5 million less than last year. The number of loans for Essex County decreased about 7.5 percent and the amount issued was approximately $11 million less than last year.
“Clearly, we have more work to do in some areas of the state,” Titone said in a press release. “Leveraging resources and working more closely with our lending partners can only help toward our goal to increase small business around the state.”
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