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SBA lender enters Reno market

NNBW staff

A California lender that specializes in Small Business Administration loans has won SBA approval to expand its operations into Nevada and it’s targeting the Reno market.

CDC Small Business Finance, based at San Diego, began looking closely at the Reno market at the request of some of the banks with which it works to make SBA loans, said Michael Owen, an executive vice president with CDC.

Major banks often group northern Nevada with their northern California operations, he said, and CDC executives felt it made sense to do the same.

CDC, which is a not-for-profit organization, initially will serve northern Nevada from its Sacramento office, Owen said, although it ultimately hopes to open an office in the Reno area along with one in Clark County.

The lender specializes in SBA 504 loans, which generally are used by small businesses to purchase office or industrial buildings. Fixed-rate SBA 504 loans finance 40 percent of the price, a bank or other lender finances 50 percent, and the owner puts 10 percent down.

That lending program has remained popular despite some banks’ growing caution about real estate lending, Owen said. Banks that want to limit their exposure to real estate lending can use the SBA program to meet the needs of their customers without loading the entire loan onto their own books.

Nationwide, Owen said the dollar volume of SBA 504 loans is running about 8 percent ahead of figures from a year ago.

In 2006, CDC Small Business Finance handled more than 700 loans totaling about $1.3 billion.

It serves markets in Arizona as well as California and Nevada.