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Illinois SBA Loans Down 33%

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For the first time in five years, the number of Small Business Administration loans approved in Illinois has dropped.

Basic loans to small businesses for things like working capital are down over 33 percent from last year. The actual dollar amount of those loans is down about 7 percent.

ROUSSEL: It’s fair to say we are concerned.

Judith Roussel is the Illinois District Director for the SBA. The federal agency guarantees the loans, but doesn’t approve the loans, that’s up to banks.

ROUSSEL: So during these times when they have to make some decisions we think what’s happening is that there’s a tendency to look to the larger loans.

Roussel thinks start-ups are feeling the credit crunch more directly than established companies, as banks look to trim risk from their portfolios.

I’m Adriene Hill, Chicago Public Radio.

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