Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

SBA Tracks Loan Activity: OKC-Based BancFirst Leads Pack with $13.45M for 59 SBA-Related Loans

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

SBA Tracks Loan Activity: OKC-Based BancFirst Leads Pack with $13.45M for 59 SBA-Related Loans

Article excerpt

Small Business Administration-backed loan activity is up so far this year compared with last, with a slight emphasis on opening franchises and buying existing businesses, local bankers and SBA representatives said Monday.

We're seeing a lot of people trying to get into some type of franchise, in everything from fast foods to home decor to auto repair. You name it, we're seeing a little bit of everything, said Kent Faison, head of the commercial capital division of BancFirst in Oklahoma. And we're seeing a lot of business acquisition financing - a great deal of that in the last 12 to 18 months.

There are a lot of people who are out looking for deals, he said.

As of the end of June, the top small business lenders involved in SBA guaranteed loans in Oklahoma were BancFirst with 59 loans worth $13.45 million; Business Loan Center LLC with 90 loans worth $2.48 million; and JP Morgan Chase Bank with 57 loans worth $2.86 million.

The vast majority of Business Loan Center's loans involve the SBA's Community Express program, said Dottie Overal, the administration's district director for Oklahoma. Community Express was designed as part of the SBA's new markets initiative in 2000, to give additional help to businesses owned by women, veterans and minorities in low- and moderate-income areas

The Community Express loan program this year has shown a greater loan volume but in smaller amounts. Also, the only lenders involved in Community Express are based out of state, she said, which further sets California-based Business Loan Center apart from other Oklahoma lenders.

In general, the dollar value of loans is on the increase, but volume is down slightly, Oklahoma SBA spokeswoman Darla Booker said. By the end of June this year, the SBA had guaranteed 668 loans totaling $129.51 million, compared with 729 over the same period a year earlier. She could not confirm the value of last year's loans for comparison.

Booker said the number of loans through the SBA's Certified Development Company program is up about 30 percent over last year. Those loans are generally larger and focus on job creation and job retention, she said, providing growing businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing. …

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