SANTA ROSA -- Fueled in part by new loan volume under a recently acquired subsidiary, Sonoma Bank announced that it completed $7 million more in loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration in Northern California during the first half of the administration's fiscal year than during the prior 12 months combined.

As the California arm of Washington-based Sterling Financial Corporation (NASDAQ: STSA), Sonoma Bank completed nearly $12 million in SBA 7(a) loans throughout the region in the six month period ended March 31. The bank funded 12 SBA loans to small businesses during the period. Sonoma Bank funded $4.7 million over eight loans in the entirety of the 2012 fiscal year, according to data from the SBA.

Ten of those loans were due to activity under the bank's new subsidiary, La Mesa, Calif.-based Borrego Springs Bank, said Joe Smith, senior vice president in charge of all SBA lending for Sterling. As a lender primarily focused on SBA products with a license to do business nationally, Borrego's inclusion under the Sterling umbrella was meant to boost the bank's already sizable activity in the government-backed lending program.

Borrego Springs, which currently continues to operate under its own name, completed a total of 51 loans throughout California during the first two quarters, totaling $24.3 million. Borrego completed 163 loans nationally, totaling $31.5 million, for the period.