SBA Serves Up $57 Million In Loans To NJ Restaurants

NEWARK–New Jersey restaurant owners have a big appetite for loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration. According to SBA New Jersey District Director Al Titone, his office has served up 70 loans for $57 million to New Jersey restaurants during the first 10 months of the agency’s fiscal year 2012 (October 1, 2011 through July 31, 2012).

Of the 935 SBA loans approved for $470 million in New Jersey, 7.4 percent of the loan approvals and 12 percent of the dollars went to restaurants. “Historically, restaurants have been the number one industry in the state to receive SBA funding,” said Titone. “Based on data from the New Jersey Restaurant Association, we know that New Jersey has 23,000 eating and drinking establishments, which generate $11.8 billion in annual sales and employ over 300,000.”

“It’s clear that restaurants play a vital role in New Jersey’s economic growth and development,” added Titone. “SBA stands behind the restaurant industry through the many business loan and counseling programs that we support and are available to restaurateurs.”

Titone noted that his office also compiled a top 25 list of industries that have received SBA funding over the first ten months of fiscal year 2012. “Our top 25 list accounts for 409 loans or 44 percent of the 935 loans that were approved through July 31st and $235 million or 50 percent of the $470 million in dollars that were approved during the same time,” said Titone.

“We do this type of analysis from time to time to gauge what industries are applying and receiving the most SBA loan approvals throughout the state,” added Titone. “It’s always a good practice for us to monitor the loan portfolio and to see what industries are trending upwards.

One trend that interested Titone was that small supermarkets/grocery stores were listed at number six with 17 loans for $12 million. “Last year supermarkets were listed at number 16 on our list with 14 loans for $8 million, said Titone. “That’s an industry that is on the rise and is growing.”

The top 25 list also includes industries like nondurable goods merchant wholesalers, child care providers, caterers, fish and seafood merchant wholesalers and baked goods stores.

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