Shutdown Still Impacting Small Businesses

The Small Business Administration has a backlog of loans to approve, putting small businesses at risk.
February 06, 2019

WASHINGTON, D.C. – All federal employees are back at work, but small businesses are still feeling the residual effects of the partial government shutdown, as many wait for loan approvals from the Small Business Administration (SBA), CNBC reports. The SBA, after being closed for 35 days, has a backlog of loans, around 300 for each day of the closure, according to an estimate for the Consumer Bankers Association.

“The SBA has assigned additional staff to ensure loans are processed as expeditiously as possible,” said an SBA spokesperson. “In the past week alone, the SBA has processed thousands of loans totaling more than $1 billion dollars for America's small businesses.”

According to the agreement struck by lawmakers and the president, the Congress has until Feb. 15 to come up with a budget bill. Until then, the SBA is working to process as many loans as possible.

“Small business is going to be the first place you're going to see the impact, because a lot of these loans stop as soon as the shutdown occurs,” said David Pommerehn, associate general counsel and senior vice president at the Consumer Bankers Association.

Many financial institutions worked with small business owners to process SBA loans during the shutdown, although SBA final approval had to wait. “Is it frustrating for the borrower? Yes, it is, but we've been able to work with all of our borrowers,” said Chris Ward, small-business lending executive at Bank of America, which continued processing SBA loans.