Record numbers for lending by small businesses - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Record numbers for lending by small businesses

By Ashley Conroy - email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) -- With the economy in recovery and the unemployment rate in Mississippi hanging close to 10 percent, this hasn't stopped small businesses from borrowing money.

The Small Business Administration reported record numbers from fiscal year 2010 with $193.3 million borrowed from 1,138 small businesses.

SBA District Director in Jackson, Janita Stewart, said this has stimulated jobs back into communities.

"Thousands of jobs from the SBA's loans that were approved for fiscal year 2010 were created and retained in Mississippi," Stewart said.

Stewart also said the exponential growth in borrowing is in part because of the "Small Business Job Act of 2010" under the Obama Administration.

Businesses like the Lead Group from Jackson took advantage of this program.

Investor J. R. Jones said they invested in developing a Sleep Inn hotel in downtown Jackson that will create anywhere from 11 to 15 full-time jobs.

"It's a good spot, it's a pro-development spot. We're hoping that we do well."

He said they wanted to borrow to get additional help for the project. "We're hoping that we measured it appropriately for the size project we have."

Small business owner and hair stylist Felicia Brisco can relate. She decided to borrow through the SBA to hire more employees and buy a piece of property.

"Later on in life if I decide I want to retire, I'll still have this property. That I can either liquidate or I can lease out," Brisco said.

Stewart said some new businesses borrowed during this time as a start-up company. She also said they do run the risk of not making it in a difficult economy.    

President of the Mississippi Economic Council, Blake Wilson, agreed.  He added that though this risk is viable, in the end, borrowing and then reinvesting is still worth it.

"Is that it really provides jobs for people in the community. It teams public and private sector resources to make things happen." 

For information on borrowing from SBA, click on this link: http://www.sba.gov/ms.

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