WASHINGTON, May 26, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Maria Contreras-Sweet, today issued the following statement at a U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee hearing on SBA's 7(a) Loan Guaranty program:
"SBA-backed loans support small businesses that are creating jobs and rebuilding communities. As a former community banker, I know that numbers speak louder than words. That is why I am especially proud to report that we have achieved record 7(a) lending levels operating with zero taxpayer subsidy for three consecutive years. SBA's default rate on 7(a) loans is 1.47 percent, the lowest since we started tracking this rate in 2002.
"One of our signature accomplishments was to reach historic levels in 7(a) lending to those Americans who typically struggle most to access capital. During my time at SBA, 7(a) loans are up 47 percent to business owners who are women, 32 percent to veterans, 75 percent to African-Americans, 50 percent to Hispanics, 30 percent to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, 18 percent to Native Americans and 41 percent to rural entrepreneurs.
"From my very first days in office, I have prioritized the need to modernize SBA operations to respond to the technological, demographic, and globalization changes that are transforming our small business economy.
"Our efforts to modernize the agency have also driven updates to our lending partner platforms by bringing advances such as automation, digital signatures, and online matchmaking to the entrepreneurs we serve. These time-saving and cost-saving technologies have encouraged community bankers, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), and credit unions across the country to adopt or increase SBA lending.
"I've been on the job at SBA for just over two years. I am proud of the progress we have made in that time – in our 7(a) program and throughout the agency."
The Administrator's full testimony before the committee is available HERE.
ABOUT THE U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (SBA)
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was created in 1953 and since January 13, 2012 has served as a Cabinet-level agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, the SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam. www.sba.gov
Release Number: 16-47
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SOURCE U.S. Small Business Administration