Lenders expect SBA loan program to be extended again

NORTH BAY – The Small Business Administration has been working at increasing levels of lending since March of last year when the government rolled out a $730 million multi-faceted program to encourage borrowers to apply for and bankers to approve loans.

Initially, the program set aside $375 million specifically for temporary fee eliminations on SBA loans as well as an increase of guarantee limits from 75 percent to 90 percent.

Last month President Barack Obama signed legislation providing $80 million in additional funding to continue these enhancements. The enhancements were first made available under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

“The expectation is that they will keep extending it though the end of the year,” said Michael Rice, senior vice president and small business lending manager at Circle Bank.

He said that since the first rollout, each month or two the administration has extended the program, but there have been lags in the funding when the money runs out before the end of the extension period.

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