The U.S. Small Business Administration office in New Jersey reports that fiscal year 2018, which ended Sept. 30, was a busy one for small business loan activity.

New Jersey District Director Al Titone says 2018 saw a total of $905 million in SBA loan approvals. That's up from $869 million the previous fiscal year.

"The dollar amount per loan is also going up, whereas the number of loans has gone down," Titone said.

He says that's no big surprise because as the economy improves, banks tend to need the SBA guarantee less and less.

Where was the most small business loan activity in New Jersey in FY 2018? Bergen County, with 346 loans worth $100 million. Middlesex got $40 million.

The average SBA loan was for $397,000.

About 60 percent of all loans were let to start ups. Existing businesses accounted for 903 loans and 40 percent of loan activity.

Titone says people are investing more in their business with new buildings, new equipment, and they are excited about the numbers.

"We are hoping that we can continue to help folks. We will see what the year 2019 brings. We are just excited about the numbers and excited about the activity because that is telling me that we are seeing an increase in productivity in the state, which, I think is great."

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5

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