Loan programs from the U.S. Small Business Administration posted near-record numbers in FY 2012 with $30.25 billion in loans to small businesses across the country. That amount is the second-largest ever, surpassed only by FY 2011.

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During the fiscal year, which ended September 30, close to 54,000 loans were approved for small businesses in the SBA's two main loan programs.

In New Jersey, more than 1,000 SBA-backed loans were approved for $602 million.

Over the past year, SBA has been streamlining many of their loan programs in order to provide more access and opportunity for both lenders and small businesses. Nowadays, more than 80 percent of loan applications can be processed online.

"Reaching such strong numbers is a clear sign that both the business and lending communities are regaining their confidence in the economic climate of the country," said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. "It means that the credit markets are increasingly willing to help small businesses establish themselves, grow and create new jobs for Americans."