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Small Business Administration lending grows in Mountain State

By Caitlin Cook, Staff writer

West Virginia entrepreneurs have received more financial support from the Small Business Administration and its lending partners this year, the SBA reports.

Lending is up 80 percent in the Mountain State compared to last year’s third-quarter lending.

“We are pleased lenders are working with SBA to make higher-dollar loans to small businesses,” said Judy McCauley, SBA West Virginia District director.

Together with commercial lenders, the total dollar volume of loan-guarantee approvals in the state rose nearly by $16.3 million, compared to 2013’s third-quarter lending.

A direct result of that lending is the creation of 257 new jobs and 681 that were retained since the beginning of the fiscal year, according to the SBA.

“We have placed an emphasis on lender outreach and it really seems to be paying off. Look at Davis Trust -- it has been over a decade since they made an SBA 7(a) guaranteed loan. Our lender-relations specialist has worked closely with them and now they have a $5 million SBA-guaranteed loan for the customer,” McCauley said.

Davis Trust, located in Elkins, recently closed on its $5 million loan to the Isaac Jackson Hotel for remodeling and refurbishing the Randolph County hotel and restaurant.

“Working with the SBA has allowed us to do larger projects, where in the past we haven’t been able to take on all the risk ourselves,” said Hoy Ferguson, commercial loan lending officer at Davis Trust Co.

Huntington National Bank, the state’s largest lender, increased lending by 19.2 percent from last year. The bank has been recognized at the state’s lender of the year for the past seven years.

This fiscal year, the West Virginia district office assisted 2,537 clients through customized training events, with the federal government’s assistance trained more than 700 small businesses on how to operate, provided new health care law training to more than 180 small businesses and facilitated 86 disaster assistance loans amounting to $3.1 million.

Reach Caitlin Cook at caitlin.cook@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5113 or follow @caitlincookWV on Twitter.


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