Small Business Lending Momentum Continues in NJ as SBA Reaches a Record $905 Million in Loans for State Small Businesses in 2018

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NEWARK, NJ—The U.S. Small Business Administration approved a record $905 million in loans to New Jersey small business owners during the agency’s fiscal year 2018 (the period from Oct. 1, 2017 thru Sept. 30, 2018). Nationally SBA approved over 66,000 loans for a little over $30 billion, during the past year.

“We are providing tools, resources and access to capital for America’s 30 million small businesses, and our FY18 numbers bear that out,” SBA Administrator Linda McMahon said. “Our loan programs in FY18 continue to show strong performance, and we believe the President’s tax cuts and deregulatory actions will help more small businesses grow and prosper in the coming year.”

“Small business lending momentum continues in New Jersey,” said SBA New Jersey District Director Al Titone. “This year state small businesses received 2,291 loans for a record $905 million compared to the 2,326 loans for $869 million they received in in fiscal year 2017.”

“There is no doubt that an improving economy has translated into more loan dollars for New Jersey entrepreneurs to start, grow and expand their small businesses across the state,” he added. “With small business confidence at an all-time high, small business owners are taking the money generated with the increased growth, and are reinvesting it back into their businesses.”

Titone attributes the 2 percent decrease in loan approvals in 2018 to a stronger economy. “When the economy is as strong as it is today, lenders tend to underwrite loans without the backing of the SBA,” said Titone. “So it’s not surprising at all that loan approvals have dropped slightly. What’s good to see is a state of our size reaching over $900 million in loan approvals for the very first time. This generally reflects an increase in larger investments like equipment and real estate, where even with good credit a small business may still need help. That the SBA NJ district office can help our small businesses to make these investments, certainly demonstrates the impact SBA lending has in almost every area of the state.”

The average SBA loan was for $397,000 in 2018, up from the $374,000 average loan last year. A breakout of the loan data showed that 1,388 or 60 percent of all loans went to start-up businesses, while 903 or 40 percent went to existing businesses. Those loans helped to create 7,816 jobs and retain another 9,397 jobs.

Bergen County led all SBA lending with 346 loans for $100.3 million. Middlesex County had the second most loan approvals with 195 loans for $99.2 million, followed by Monmouth County with 189 loans for $85.3 million. Rounding out the top five are Ocean County with 171 loans for $49 million and Essex County with 166 loans for $71 million.

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The biggest percentage increase in lending was achieved by Mercer County with a 33 percent jump in loans. Mercer County went from 82 loan approvals in 2017 to109 loan approvals in 2018. Other notable increases came in Morris County with a 31 percent increase in loans; Camden County with a 23 percent increase and Ocean County with a 16.3 percent rise in loan approvals.

According to Titone, the SBA worked with 118 lenders throughout fiscal year 2018. The leading lender was TD Bank with 851 loans for $90 million. M&T Bank followed with 92 loans for $13.2 million and Wells Fargo Bank approved 88 loans for $26.4 million. Rounding out the top five lenders were JPMorgan Chase Bank with 84 loans for $15.1 million and Santander Bank with 74 loan approvals for $11.2 million.

“The idea is to always be thinking of streamlining and simplifying whenever possible, when it comes to giving entrepreneurs access to capital,” said Titone. “SBA’s Lender Match online referral tool is an important resource for small businesses and has generated 3.6 million leads and over 160,000 unique borrowers have been contacted by lenders with financing options. It’s certainly a tool that we will continue to promote to potential borrowers.”

“In 2019 our efforts will continue to be focused on increasing the number of loan approvals in underserved communities and rural parts of the state. We will continue to encourage and work with our lenders to make loans available to these communities and share our resources with small business owners to ensure they have every opportunity to secure capital through the SBA.”

SBA Loan Approvals for the Period from Oct. 1 thru Sept. 30

Fiscal Year 2018 Fiscal Year 2017
County # of Loans Sum of Gross Amt. County # of Loans Sum of Gross Amt.

Ocean 171 $48,956,700.00 Ocean 147 $40,746,500.00

About the U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit