Community banks in S. Florida filling the gap for small business loans

BRADENTON, Fla. — Small business owners LaJuana Pruitt and Chip Boyd are special cases in this economy.

That’s because each received a Small Business Administration loan for their Bradenton-based businesses at a time when banks aren’t as eager to lend.

Not even when it’s SBA guaranteed.

“It’s going to be easier on me financially with this loan,” said Pruitt, referring to a $50,000 SBA loan her business, Premier Video Productions, Inc., will receive.Economic conditions are creating a gap between the demand for SBA loans and the number of banks willing to lend.

And while the SBA has plenty of guarantee authority available, banks under stricter lending practices are causing a drop in the number of SBA loans issued, said John Dunn Jr., assistant district director of lender relations for SBA’s South Florida district.

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