The U.S. Small Business Administration approved loans 1,766 loans worth $884.9 million in fiscal year 2018 in Colorado.

According to a release, the loans created or retained more than 17,200 jobs in the state. The fiscal year ran from Oct. 1, 2017 to Sept. 30.

“The SBA continues to power small business growth and economic development across Colorado,” SBA Region VIII Administrator Dan Nordberg said. “The small business community has benefited from a very good pro-business environment which was enhanced this year by the President’s tax cuts and reduction of red tape and regulations. The end result has been more jobs being created in both rural and urban communities statewide.”

For the fourth straight year, the top SBA 7(a) lender in Colorado was Wells Fargo, which made 239 loans worth $91.5 million.  

The 7(a) loan program is the SBA’s primary program for providing financial assistance to small businesses and offers guarantees on loans to small businesses of up to $5 million on reasonable terms and conditions. These loans are commonly used for acquiring land, purchasing equipment or working capital.

In El Paso County, 151 7(a) loans were approved for $73.5 million.

Colorado Lending Source was the state’s top 504 lender, making 118 loans worth $101.8 million.

The Certified Development Company/504 loan program helps small businesses acquire fixed assets to promote economic development in the form of long-term fixed rate financing for fixed assets on reasonable terms.

Under this program, the SBA authorizes CDCs to provide financing to small businesses with the help of third-party lenders, typically banks. The maximum loan amount is generally $5 million; however, certain eligible energy-efficient or manufacturing projects may qualify for more than one 504 loan up to $5.5 million each.

Nationally, the agency approved 72,227 7(a), 504, and microloans loans worth $31.3 billion. 

The nation’s strong economy is allowing lenders to provide borrowers more conventional credit without the utilization of an SBA guarantee. SBA’s loan programs continue to show strong performance in 2018, and this strength is projected to continue helping small businesses grow and prosper in the coming year.

The SBA is now targeting rural communities for increased loan volume.

“Colorado’s economy remains one of the strongest in the nation, and the SBA’s small business lending programs continue to be a critical economic development driver in the state, creating or retaining more than 17,000 jobs,” said Frances Padilla, SBA’s Colorado District Director.

“None of this success would happen without our network of dedicated SBA lenders, the vital support of our resource partners, and our stellar team in the Colorado District Office,” Padilla said.

FY 2018 Colorado lending numbers are as follows.

• 1,436 loans valued at $730.1 million were approved through the 7(a) program.

• 162 loans worth $152 million were approved through the 504 loan program.

• Average loan size for 7(a) loans was $508,357.

• Average loan size for 504 loans was $938,272.

• 390 loans worth $189 million went to minority-owned small businesses.

• 603 loans worth $281 million went to women-owned businesses.

• 97 loans worth $39 million were approved for veteran-owned businesses.

• The accommodations and food service industries received the greatest number of loans at 222.

• In Denver County, 259 7(a) loans were approved for $138.2 million.

• 168 microloans (loans less than $50,000) for $3.16 million were approved.

• 19 export loans worth $17.9 million were approved.