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SBA Lending in OC Falls 22% to $110M

Lenders in Orange County have continued to pull back on the amount of U.S. Small Business Administration loans they’ve been arranging.

The total amount is down almost 22%, to just under $109.9 million for the 12 lenders surveyed by the Business Journal. The drop is on top of the fall on last year’s list of 18%, as borrowers held back due to rising interest rates.

The Business Journal’s annual list of the largest small business lenders measures lending for the six months ended March 31 compared with the same period a year earlier.

Going in the upside direction is California Statewide Certified Development Corp. in Brea, which boosted its total by 52% year-over-year to $24.9 million, for the six months ended March 31.

The company is a nonprofit that makes available low-cost, fixed-rate commercial-industrial real estate financing to expanding small businesses under the SBA’s 504 loan program.

California Statewide finished in first place on this year’s Business Journal list, up three places year-over-year, followed by Business Finance Capital of Los Angeles and Mortgage Capital Development Corp. of Irvine, which is doing business as TMC Financing.

175% Jump

U.S. Bank’s SBA division in Irvine saw a 175% jump in the dollar value of its small business lending, more than doubling the amount to $5.9 million for the six months through March 31, pushing its ranking up seven spots to No. 6. The huge increase is likely due in no small part to U.S. Bank having completed its acquisition of Union Bank more than a year ago.

On last year’s list, Union Bank had $8.15 million in loans while U.S. Bank reported $2.15 million.

“U.S. Bank has a long history of serving small businesses in Orange County. We have seen an increase in lending because of U.S. Bank’s continued commitment to our community, which has included adding business banking and SBA bankers,” Catherine Jooyan, senior vice president and SBA regional manager for California, told the Business Journal on May 2.

PCB Bank of Los Angeles boosted its SBA loans in Orange County by 270% for the six-month period, to claim No. 8.

PCB Senior Vice President and Loan Manager Peter Han told the Business Journal that “we simply received increased request from the region during that period.”

“Increased demand and larger loan amount requests contributed to the overall increase during the first two quarters ending March 31, 2024, in comparison to March 31, 2023,” Han said by e-mail.

Southland Economic Development Corp. of Santa Ana was down 66% to $2.7 million for the six-month period, ranking No. 10.

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