U.S. backs $2.5M in local business loans

The U.S. Small Business Administration backed a record $30.5 billion in small-business loans last fiscal year, including more than $2.5 million that went to Carson City-area businesses.

The local SBA office said the almost 20 loans in the area helped businesses to retain more than 100 jobs and create 31.

The loans are distributed by banks with federal backing for as much as 85 percent of the balance on loans less than $150,000 and 75 percent for larger loans, diminishing the risk to the lenders. In return, the borrowers must put up all of their available assets, business and personal, according to the SBA's resource guide.

"Small business are the backbone of the economy, and SBA has been there to help them rebound through difficult times over the past few years," SBA Administrator Karen Mills said in a news release.

The SBA boasts that its loan program, known in jargon as 7(a), as its most used non-disaster program because of its "flexibility in loan structure, variety of loan proceed uses and availability," along with broad eligibility and credit requirements, according to the guide.

In Carson City, Douglas County and the Washoe Valley, the loans went to business types as varied as dentists' and lawyers' offices, garden centers, manufacturers, sometimes breaking the half-a-million-dollar market, according to information from the SBA.

The owner of Just Brew It, a home-brew supply store, said the SBA-backed loans give him more flexibility moving forward, allowing him to up his on-hand inventory and look at moving to a bigger location.

"If we want to move into a bigger store, we have the money to do it," Trevor Rotoli said.

His business took the smallest loan of all the businesses listed by the SBA - the government is on the hook for less than $15,000 - and he said they are leaving much of it untouched to leave his business' options open.

"We have future plans and we want to have it available if we needed it," he said.


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