Last week we released our official lending figures for the first six months of 2014. Our performance has been decently strong so far, but no record-breaking pace to report this time. Our loan closing numbers have been steady, and we’ve worked hard to provide our small business clients with the best financing and best service possible, but the bigger story is the size of the loans we’re closing these days.
(You may be thinking, “It’s not the size of the loan that matters…” But, well, it kind of does.)
[Go here to read our official mid-year press release for 2014.]
After doing some number crunching, we found that our historical average total project cost (over the past 12 years) is about $2.5 million. This year, so far, our per-loan average total project cost is approximately $4.0 million. From 2011 to 2102, that average jumped from $3.06 million to $4.37 million, and from 2012 to now we’re averaging a little more than $4.5 million per loan.
This growing trend of larger loan sizes tells me that small business owners are gaining more and more confidence. Many of our clients are building facilities to meet their specific size and operational needs, often from the ground up. Lots of them are buying and building larger facilities to accommodate future growth. The projects we’re doing these days are much bigger and more complex than what often comes to mind when people think of SBA loans. We think it’s clear that the SBA 504 loan program is becoming more well-known, and more small business owners as well as small business advisors truly understand its benefits.
So what do you make of all this? What evidence have you seen that small business owners are gaining confidence? On the other hand, have you seen anything to indicate the opposite — that small business owners are actually continuing to play it safe? And what do you think about our mid-year progress report? Are we hanging tough or can we do better?
Seriously, we want to hear your brilliant insights and genius analysis, so leave a comment below or email us at info@MercantileCC.com. And don’t forget to use those buttons on the left side of this page to share this with someone who might have some input on what we’re talking about here. The more voices we get to chime in, the better the conversation.
-Your 504 Experts