The Small Business Administration is a big player in American small business. We've been doing a good bit of thinking on what the SBA can do for franchises in recent weeks.
You've might have watched the interesting video that Joel Libava produced for Franchise Direct about our SBA-approved franchises. It's a really topical discussion for anyone on the verge of investing in a franchise. Then Monday, Entrepreneur magazine published a long interview with Susan Mills, the head of the SBA, who was marking her second year in the position.
If you're interested in the politics of small-business funding, this interview will appeal to you. Of all the jobs that President Obama was handing out after his election, head of the Small Business Administration was certainly one of the more challenging ones, and despite the difficulties, Mills seems to feel that the SBA is making strides towards delivering results for entrepreneurs seeking funding.
She was asked in particular about the boosted guarantees that expired:
"As those guarantees ended, we had the highest quarter of lending ever in SBA history. In the quarter ended Dec. 31, we helped facilitate $11 billion worth of loans. And after that, we were concerned that we would see a fall-off. But, in the past several weeks, we've continued to rebound. At the SBA, we are back at 2008 lending levels."
It's great to see lending levels back to '08 levels. The challenge is meeting that the demand for funding like the IFA saw is out there. We hope Susan Mills can help get franchisees there.