SBA loans rebounding in Mesa County
The demand for loans in Mesa County is on the rise, and experts say this means the economy is improving
More small businesses are turning to the Small Business Administration to get qualified for a loan these days. More than there have been in the past several years.
The SBA allows banks to approve loans to businesses that otherwise may not qualify.
"Timberline Bank is a preferred SBA lender which means we can basically approve certain types of deal in the bank," vice president of the bank Scott Wittman said.
Last quarter, Timberline had the most SBA loans in Mesa County, but lenders say this doesn't mean anyone can just walk in and get approved for a loan. Qualifications still must be met.
"The individuals still have to qualify they still have to bring in all their information, tax returns and applications and all that stuff," Wittman said.
SBA guidelines say anyone with less than 200 employees is considered a small business, and the majority of the businesses in the grand valley have under 10 total employees.
"We are a small business driven economy,” president of the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce Diane Schwenke said. “In terms of the grand valley, probably 80 to 90% of our businesses tend to be small businesses."
When small businesses open they can only afford to hire one or two people even after receiving a loan. But the chamber says consumers should note that an increased need for temporary and part time positions indicates an improving economy.
"Any sort of an increase at this point in time and any indicators like that, lending or employment, we take as a very positive sign,” Schwenke said.
Even though the lending rate is up, small businesses are still being extra cautious.
"Businesses that have managed to survive this recession because it's been an extremely, tough haul for a lot of folks, are the really resilient business people,” Schwenke said. “If they can survive the past three of four years they're going to make it for the long haul.”
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