The Iowa office of the U.S. Small Business Administration is reporting the just-ended fiscal year saw upturns in both the amount of money lent and the number of loans made.
District director Jayne Armstrong says the Iowa SBA made $263 million dollars in loans, an increase of almost $30 million, while the number of loans rose to 476, a boost of 43 loans over the previous year. “It’s a nice surprise to see the increase, especially the large number of startups and business acquisitions that we’re seeing,” Armstrong says. “It’s a sign that the economy is really rebounding.”
The SBA loans created more than two-thousand Iowa jobs, she says, while retaining another 3,400. There were no trends as far as rural versus urban, Armstrong says, nor were there any particular business types that sprang up or expanded in the past fiscal year.
“We’ve been doing a lot of work in underserved markets where there were gaps before,” Armstrong says. “Working with immigrant entrepreneurs and minority-owned businesses and everything that we traditionally do, too, with veterans and women-owned businesses and across the board with every sector we work with.”
Armstrong says she’s thrilled with the work of her staff in providing so many traditional business loans, while at the same time administering all of the federal pandemic programs, like PPP and the Economic Injury Disaster loans. “That really helped a lot of businesses with their cash flow to get through the tough months of the pandemic,” Armstrong says. “It really helped them to keep the lights on and to make it through it. It may’ve been the worst year that they’ve ever had but they’re still standing.”
Polk, Linn and Black Hawk counties had the most loans during the year, while Polk County also had the highest amount of loans at more than $53 million, followed by Linn and Scott counties.