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More small business owners in Connecticut were able to get loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration in 2023, increasing by 13 percent compared to last year.

The SBA Connecticut District Office reported that a total of 894 loans of 7(a) and 504 loans were approved in their fiscal year ending September, which is 13 percent higher than the 791 approvals a year ago. The loans this year amounted to $363 million, up by 18.5 percent than the $307 million in 2022.

The 7(a) and 504 loans are both SBA-backed that can offer up to $5 million and $5.5 million in loan amounts, respectively; 7(a) loans support any special requirements of small businesses while 504 loans help with capital for fixed assets.

“Small business loans backed by the strength of the federal government enabled our small businesses to start, expand and grow. The record 2023 lending is a result of SBA’s increased visibility, the commitment of our lenders and SBA resource partners…to focus on equitable access to capital through targeted outreach to women entrepreneurs, underserved communities, minorities, and veterans,” Catherine Marx, Connecticut’s SBA District Director, said in a statement.

The SBA CT reported that there were 744 7(a) loans approved this year, totaling $290.4 million in SBA funding, and supported 6,540 jobs. There were 90 approved 504 loans, amounting to $71.7 million in SBA funding and $100.6 million in 3rd party private lender financing, which supported 656 jobs.

For microloans that offer up to $50,000 in loans, there were 60 approved, valued around $1.5 million, which supported 249 jobs.

“Our flagship programs 7(a), 504, and Microloans assisted 894 small businesses, supporting 7,445 jobs in Connecticut. Access to capital for Connecticut small businesses and entrepreneurs promotes innovation, growth, and job creation,” Marx said. “This year’s record approvals are a direct result of the commitment of our partner lending institutions who, through government guarantees, offer financial instruments for entrepreneurs and small businesses in need of short- and long-term working capital, financing for major fixed assets, land acquisition, and more.”

M&T Bank was the top 7(a) lender in Connecticut with 126 loans, totaling $18.1 million and an average loan size of $144,000. New England Certified Development Corporation topped the 504 lenders with 46 loans, totaling $37 million with an average size of $804,000 of SBA funding.

The Community Economic Development Fund is the top SBA microloan lender in 11 years, with 30 loans, totaling $773.9 million and an average loan size of $26,000.