LOB_News_BlogPostBy Keith Larsen, Greater Wilmington Business Journal

Live Oak Bank, headquartered in Wilmington and currently ranked second in the nation in Small Business Administration 7a loans, was North Carolina’s fifth-highest SBA lender in the first seven months of 2013. It approved 28 loans in the state for a total of $23,658,000.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo ranked as North Carolina’s top lender of SBA-backed 7a loans. Wells Fargo logged 104 approvals, which amounted to $33,023,000 through July 31, according to the SBA’s website, www.SBA.gov.

Winston-Salem-based BBT was second in the rankings with 101 approvals and $23,604,000 in total gross loan amount.

According to the SBA website, SBA 7a loans are the SBA’s most common loan. The SBA provides a financial guarantee for a financial lender – such as Wells Fargo, BB&T or Live Oak Bank – to make a loan to a startup businesses or existing small businesses. SBA.gov states that “proceeds can’t be used to buy an asset to hold for its potential increased value or to reimburse an owner for the money they previously put into their business.”

Placing number one in lending for SBA 504 loans, which provide financing for buying fixed assets such as buildings and real estate, was Charlotte-based Certified Business Corporation, Business Expansion Funding Corporation (BEFCOR).

BEFCOR approved 46 loans for a total of $24,091,000. Self Help Ventures was second in North Carolina in SBA 504 loans with 24 approvals and $12,587,000 in total funding.

Certified Business Corporations are non-profit corporations that help provide some of the required funding for SBA 504 loans. Local CBCs include Wilmington Business Development Inc. and Self-Help Ventures Fund.