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Boosting Small Business Growth: The Impact of $2.8 Billion Funding in North Carolina's Cumberland, Hoke, and Sampson Counties

The Small Business Administration (SBA) of North Carolina has significantly boosted the state's economy by distributing nearly $3 billion in loans to small businesses between 2021 and 2023. SBA District Director Mike Arriola, with 19 years of experience, highlighted the state's "peak time" of success, with notable loan distributions in the last three years:

  • In 2021, the SBA awarded $1.1 billion in loans.

  • In 2022, $870 million worth of loans were distributed.

  • In 2023, the SBA loaned $963 million within the state.

Cumberland, Hoke, and Sampson Counties received a combined total of $41 million in the last two years. In 2022, Cumberland and Hoke Counties received 21 small business loans totaling $16 million. In 2023, Cumberland and Sampson Counties were granted 33 loans, amounting to $25 million. Lumbee Guaranty Bank in Pembroke is one of the SBA's partnering lenders in their loan distribution efforts.

The SBA primarily utilizes 7(a) and 504 loans, with 7(a) loans supporting businesses in various aspects such as real estate, equipment, and capital. For 504 loans, businesses can obtain up to $5.5 million for projects like land purchase, building construction, and machinery. Arriola mentioned underutilized SBA programs, including microloans (up to $50,000) and the community advantage program, designed for businesses in underserved communities. Recommended lenders for the community advantage program in North Carolina include Mountain BizWorks, Carolina Community Impact, and Carolina Business Capital.

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