By Dom DiFurio, The Dallas Morning News
Feb. 07–Quickly approving and processing loans has been the Small Business Administration’s mission since government workers returned to their jobs after a 34-day pause.
The Dallas-Fort Worth District Office says it’s “meeting and exceeding” those goals.
In Texas, the SBA processed 237 loans totaling $143 million as of Wednesday. In Dallas, agency workers approved 94 loans for about $59 million.
“Dallas is clearly moving money into the hands of small business entrepreneurs that are in need of it,” SBA Regional Administrator Justin Crossie said.
If Congress is unable to reach an agreement to fund the government beyond Feb. 15, the current backlog could begin to grow again. Crossie and other SBA administrators hope that doesn’t happen.
So do Craig and Veronica Bradley, whose SBA loan for a Dallas brewpub was put on hold by the shutdown. They say the SBA has been willing to streamline tasks for their loan, asking them to gather certain necessary documents as the processing occurs.
“Before the shutdown, we had heard it would be around six weeks,” Craig Bradley said. “I know that as soon as it reopened, from what I heard, everyone just scrambled at once to send in their loans because they were worried it was going to happen again.”
The regional SBA office estimates its backlog is around 200 loans totaling $125 million. The office typically approves around 160 loans a month.
While they wait, the Bradleys are keeping their contractors and architects apprised as the catchup process plays out.
“The SBA is moving and we’re going good, as long as things stay open,” Craig Bradley said. But he acknowledged concerns about whether his opening could pushed back by other federal approval processes impacted by the shutdown.
“Now I really need that loan because I can’t get my permit to brew until then,” Craig Bradley said. “What’s the point in having a brewpub that can’t brew?”
The Bradleys, along with their friends at Lakewood Brewing Co., held several fundraisers in January that allowed the public to make small donations and help them keep their dream moving along.
“All of these donations that have been coming in are a huge help because we are still able to be paying and making sure things are still moving,” Craig Bradley said.
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