SBA lending in NWA down more than 23% in FY 2022

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 860 views 

Northwest Arkansas banks underwrote fewer Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to area businesses during the most recent fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.

According to agency data, 10 lenders with an office in Northwest Arkansas issued at least two 7(a) or 504 SBA-guaranteed loans to businesses in Northwest Arkansas during fiscal year 2022.

Combined, the 10 banks issued 49 loans worth $27.22 million. That compares with 64 loans worth $39.21 million in the previous fiscal year.

The Business Journal collects data from the SBA and compiles a list of which banks issue the most small business loans in the six-county market area (Benton, Carroll, Crawford, Madison, Sebastian and Washington counties). For a PDF of the list, click here.

7(a) loans are the primary program the SBA uses to help startups and existing small businesses with financing for various business purposes. 504 loans are used to finance real estate purchases or renovations.

According to the SBA, Fayetteville-chartered Arvest Bank ranked first in fiscal year 2022 with 18 SBA loans to Northwest Arkansas businesses totaling $2.89 million. That’s down from 30 SBA loans worth $11.72 million the previous fiscal year.

Arvest Bank officials declined to comment on the annual decline.

Based on 7(a) loan production for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, Arvest was the state’s top SBA lender in both the total number (45) and total volume ($8.6 million).