There are some consistent big percentage increases on SBA’s annual list of lenders.
Small businesses in northern Ohio benefited from the massive national recovery in SBA lending in 2021. The 82 lenders in the full Excel version of the list granted 1,536 loans to northern Ohio through the US Small Business Administration’s pilot 7(a) loan program during the year ending federal fiscal year on September 30, 2021. This is an increase of 60.6% over 2020.
This total isn’t a record, but this one is perhaps even more impressive: Those loans were valued at $478.6 million. This represents a 38% increase year over year, or 31% when inflation is factored in. It easily beats the aggregates for at least the past decade even when inflation is taken into account, according to Crane’s analysis of SBA numbers.
Thus, you get a set of big percentage increases on the list, which this year runs alongside a list showing the largest SBA loans granted in Northeast Ohio. This list covers only 15 counties and also includes fixed asset loans offered through the SBA 504 program.
Two factors had a major impact on the increase in domestic 7(a) loans in 2021. First, COVID-19 forced the Small Business Agency to redirect many of its efforts toward managing the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Catastrophe Loans. Although the total dollar amount of 7(a) loans it granted in the 28 Cleveland District grew 6.7% in fiscal 2020, the number of loans fell 21% that year. Once he redirected his attention toward traditional programs, they came back in force nationwide.
Second, Huntington Bank has posted huge increases—which is important, because it’s always number one by a mile in the SBA Lenders. Huntington provided 1,086 7(a) loans in Cleveland County in the year ending September 30, 2021, up 33.1%. Those loans totaled $177 million, up 56% from the previous year.
The smallest increase in dollar volume in the top five was KeyBank, with an increase of 26.1%. Live Oak Banking Co. saw dollar volume up 140.9%, pushing it from number five on last year’s list to number two this year, just ahead of Key. But Key still had the second-highest number of loans with a score of 68.