The Lead Business Development Officer for the Small Business Administration’s Philadelphia Region, John Fleming, says the companies they get now applying for business loans are larger than the ones they got before the recession started. “We no longer get as many startup businesses, and that’s reflected in our loan numbers. Three or four years ago the average loan was $170,000. Now it’s pushing $300,000. In my mind that tells us that the business that didn’t need us two or three years ago now needs us, and they’re going to be a larger, more established businesses.”
Fleming says many of them want longer terms on their loans, which they can get through the SBA in cooperation with banks. Univest Vice President Pat Kratz, who oversees small business programs in partnership with the SBA, says some loans go to struggling businesses to help them stay afloat, providing what banks call Working Capital.
“Loans are available for Working Capital provided the business is credit worthy and it passes all of the tests that we process any loan request through, complying with all the regulatory guidelines that are put before us. We almost call them lifelines too.”
Kratz Says Univest is well capitalized with money to lend, despite the economy, and is eager to get that money on the street for local business owners who qualify. She and Fleming appeared Tuesday on the WNPV talk program Comment Please by Univest.