Oakland County sees increase in business loan activity

There are signs that Oakland County’s economy is strengthening, according to figures released by County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. The Oakland County Business Finance Corporation (BFC) saw a substantial increase in the amount of loans approved and the number of business projects funded in the first quarter of fiscal year 2013, as compared to the same period last year.

The BFC, whose mission is to stimulate business growth and expansion in Oakland County and the region, approved $18.9 million in loans for 13 business projects in the first quarter of fiscal 2013. Last year, it approved $8.9 million in loans for 10 projects in the same timeframe. In addition, the BFC funded 11 projects for $7.5 million in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 compared to three projects for $2.9 million over the same period last year. The difference between a project that has received a loan and one that is funded is that a project which has received a loan is not necessarily underway whereas a funded project has begun.

“We are cautious but optimistic about the news,” Patterson said. “The increase in business loan activity is but one of several indicators that Oakland County’s job attraction initiatives are helping our local economy turn the corner.”

The BFC is on pace to close a total of 20 loans in the first four months of fiscal 2013. Its goal is to fund 40 loans by year end. In fiscal 2012, the BFC funded a total of 27 loans.

As a Certified Development Company under the U.S. Small Business Administration, the BFC analyzes, packages and submits loan requests on behalf of businesses in southeast Michigan under the SBA 504 loan program. The SBA 504 loan program provides viable small- and medium-size businesses with long-term fixed rate financing for the purchase or construction of buildings and equipment. The BFC also acts as the servicing agent for the approved loans.

For more information about the BFC and the SBA 504 loan program, go to www.AdvantageOakland.com.