While national figures show the small business lending pace at a standstill, Jersey officials say loan activity in our state is faring better.

Paynet, a financial research firm found small business lending virtually unchaged in March for the second straight month. The lending index registered 98.2 in March. It was 98.3 in February. PayNet's analysis shows that lending is up 14 percent from a year ago, but it's also at the level where it was during the summer.

Al Titone, Director of the Small Business Administration's New Jersey office says March was an improvement over February lending activity. He says they made 98 loans for 45.5 million in February. But that increased to 106 loans for 50.5-million in March. Titone says from the SBA's standpoint they actually did better in March. He says March was the best month they have had so far in Fiscal 2012, which began on October 1st.

Titone says low lending rates and the fact a lot of small business owners have decided to get off the sidelines and borrow, are combining to keep loan activity moving forward.