The Money Store Investment Corp. of Irvine was the top small-business lender in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties during the past 12 months, according to the Small Business Administration's district office in Santa Ana.
Money Store Investment is a loan company that specializes in making SBA-guaranteed loans. The Money Store provided loans of $26.37 million to 51 companies, most of which are based in Orange County, between October, 1989, and September, 1990, according to SBA figures.
The SBA this week released a list of the three counties' top providers of SBA loans. Under these federal programs, private lenders, usually banks, provide government-guaranteed loans to small businesses.
The second-biggest lender was Mechanics National Bank in Paramount, which has several branch offices in Orange County, with a total of $23.63 million loaned to 60 small businesses.
Nineteen of the 53 lending institutions that participated in the SBA loan program are based in Orange County. Brad Crosely, manager of Money Store Investment, said about 60% of its loans went to the county.