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DBC: Herbert Austin: SBA dollars are increasing

Profile image for Herbert Austin
Herbert Austin

Small businesses are the engines that drive economic growth in communities all across the United States. This year, the U.S. Small Business Administration is on track in providing more capital to small employers than last year. The federal government is also working to meet its contracting goal for small businesses again this fiscal year.

SBA Loans dollars are on the rise

With two months to go before the end of fiscal year 2017, the Dallas/Fort Worth district office has already approved 1,651 loans for a value of $933.6 million in guarantees. This equates to an increase of 5.2 percent in dollar value compared to the same time last year. The average loan in the district is $564,984 which is consistent but slightly lower than most of the other high dollar value districts including Los Angeles at $636,109, Georgia at $766,983, Santa Ana at $626,752 and South Florida at $509,798.

Herbert Austin
Herbert Austin

It is anticipated that by end of August, the Dallas/Fort Worth district which includes 72 counties would have reached the billion-dollar mark in loan value and may be heading to an all-time lending record in fiscal year 17.

In Denton County, so far the SBA has guaranteed 191 loans totaling more than $105.7 million. The top SBA lenders in dollars are:

1. Wells Fargo, $11.5 million

2. Green Bank, $7.8 million

3. Gulf Coast Bank, $5.2 million

4. Greater Texas Capital Certified Development Corp, $4.6 million

5. Compass Bank, $4.4 million

The top SBA lenders in number of loans are:

1. Wells Fargo, 30 loans

2. Compass Bank, 28 loans

3. JP Morgan Chase Bank, 16 loans

4. Greater Texas Capital Certified Development Corp., 7 Loans

5. Veritex Community Bank, 7 loans

6. Celtic Bank, 6 loans

SBA is continuing its effort to recruit more banks to offer SBA Guaranteed Loans. Nationally, SBA is on target to meet its fiscal year goal of having approximately of 2,500 banks offering SBA loans by September 30, 2017.

Federal contracting opportunities for small businesses

The U.S. Government is the world's largest customer, spending more than $500 billion a year on goods and services. The SBA has the role of helping all federal agencies meet the government's statutory goal of procuring 23 percent with small businesses. 

SBA administers a number of programs to help make competing for small business contracts easier for certified firms. One important program is the HUBZone Program, which stands for Historically Underutilized Business Zone. We tell small businesses that if they're located or willing to relocate to a HUBZone and hire at least 25 percent of their employees living in a HUBZone, they will gain access to competitive and sole source contracting opportunities with federal agencies. Firms participating also receive a 10 percent price evaluation preference in full and open contract competitions and subcontracting opportunities.

When we look at Denton County there is a large portion of the County with HUBZone areas. Below is a map showing Denton County HUBZone areas.

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Currently, out of the 83 certified HUBZone firms in the Dallas/Fort Worth District only one from Denton County is utilizing the program. The program is to promote economic development and employment growth in distressed areas by providing access to more federal contracting opportunities.

For more information about SBA loans and contracting programs, visit www.sba.gov or contact the Dallas/Fort Worth District Office at 817-684-5500.

HERBERT AUSTIN serves as the U.S. Small Business Administration's Dallas-Fort Worth District director and oversees the agency's programs and services in 72 Texas counties, including Denton, Tarrant and Dallas.