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Small Business Administration Officials Meet With Kentucky Lenders

The federal Small Business Administration is seeking to further increase lending in Kentucky. SBA officials had their annual meeting with representatives from national and local banks in Louisville today.The SBA works on two fronts. The agency consults businesses to see if they can afford loans, then guarantees loans once they're made.Lending in Kentucky has been on the rise. In the last year, banks have distributed nearly $200 million in SBA guaranteed loans to businesses in the commonwealth. That's up nearly more than $40 million from the year prior. A fraction of that money went to micro-loans—small payments of several hundred dollars that regional administrator Cassius Butts says can keep businesses afloat.“If you have a diner that needs to have utensils or chairs or needs to have its parking lot revamped, all those loans are used to drive that entity, and of course that means payroll as well," he says.“Sometimes, you know, as little as $500. A lot of times it's startup money for smaller endeavors. It's very big in Kentucky. It's a very highly-used product in Eastern Kentucky," says acting district director Linda George.Just under 200 SBA-backed micro-loans were granted in Kentucky last year, totaling $2.4 million.