Get Started: SBA loans on hold, business sales

SBA LOANS ON HOLD

The government shutdown has put approvals for Small Business Administration loans on hold but it's expected to have a relatively mild impact on overall lending to small business.

SBA employees who handle government loans to small businesses are among those furloughed because of the shutdown. It will take longer for companies that have applied for SBA loans to get their approvals. In addition, businesses that are filling out applications now may find there's a backlog that delays processing when the government gets back to work.

The SBA guarantees about $30 billion in loans each year, but that's just a fraction of total lending to small business. The Federal Deposition Insurance Corp. reported nearly $289 billion in commercial and industrial loans under $1 million as of June 30. Those loans are generally made to small businesses.

The shutdown affects only loans for small businesses. Workers in the SBA's disaster-assistance operations, including those who approve disaster loans, have stayed on the job.

BUSINESS SALES GAIN MOMENTUM

Small businesses, especially restaurants, are looking more and more like hot properties as the economy slowly improves. BizBuySell.com, an online marketplace for small companies, says sales rose nearly 42 percent in the third quarter from the same period last year.

The number of restaurant sales more than doubled during the quarter, and sales of retailers rose nearly 61 percent.

A growing number of baby-boomer owners are selling their companies, and there has also been an increase in the number of buyers who can get financing for deals, BizBuySell.com says.

Improving cash flows at restaurants are a factor in their growing popularity, and retailers' finances are also looking stronger, BizBuySell.com says. Both trends reflect the continuing recovery in the economy.

BizBuySell.com predicts the momentum in small business sales will continue into 2014.

ONLINE SEMINAR

SCORE, which offers free counseling to small businesses, plans an online seminar about franchising and why it's a smart way for a new entrepreneur to get started in business. The seminar will be held Thursday, Oct. 24 at 1 p.m. Eastern time. You can learn more and register at http://tinyurl.com/mbzc8m7

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Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg

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