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Business Loans Endangered

sba.jpgThe U.S. Small Business Administration is reporting that SBA-backed loans are in decline this year, with the number of lines of credit down 30 percent and the total dollar amount of debt down 13 percent.

That said, the SBA states that there was still a healthy amount--nearly $18 billion--of money loaned so far in 2008, and that each loan, on average, was worth $183,000, an increase over 2007 of nearly 29 percent. The number of loans under the SBA's "7(a)" guaranteed loan program declined by 30 percent compared to last year and those granted out under its Certified Development Company ("504") program decreased 17 percent, according to the administration.

Still, SBA administrators are hopeful. The decreases come after five years of record loan volume.

"I am hopeful because I have seen this great nation tackle and overcome all sorts of challenges in just the last few years," says SBA Acting Administrator Sandy K. Baruah.

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