SBA's Portland office backs record $429M in loans

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The U.S. Small Business Administration's Portland district office, which encompasses Clark County, set a new record in supporting loans in fiscal year 2012, the federal agency said this week.

The Portland district office backed $428.7 million in loans during the fiscal year, up from $390 million in 2011. That makes the just-completed fiscal year the largest ever in loans, as measured in dollars, said Robert DuCotè, the district's acting director, in a news release.

In line with the national SBA trends, the increase was driven by growth in what are called 504 loans, particularly refinancing loans, DuCotè said. Those financing loans came through a program, which expired in September, that allowed business owners to restructure some debts regardless of whether they planned to expand.

Nationally, the SBA's loan programs posted the second largest dollar volume ever in the 2012 fiscal year, supporting $30.25 billion in loans to small businesses. That amount was surpassed only by fiscal year 2011, which was heavily boosted by a short-term federal incentive program. Loan volume has increased for six consecutive quarters, the SBA said.