Choked Pipeline The Small Business Administration's disaster assistance loan program is a primary source of funds for business and apartment owners trying to repair and rebuild after the Jan. 17 earthquake. Many seeking loans complain that the SBA bureaucracy is moving slowly, though agency officials say they are moving as quickly and responsibly as possible, given an unprecedented volume of applications. Here are the numbers as of March 31. * Applications issued: 412,270 Homeowners: 294,307 Businesses, apartments: 117,963 * Applications completed: 148,251 Homeowners: 116,985 Businesses, apartments: 31,266 * Loan decisions (approvals and denials): 41,739 Homeowners: 39,178 Businesses, apartments: 2,561 * Loan approvals: 25,043 totaling $739.9 million Homeowners: 23,724 totaling $664 million Businesses, apartments: 1,319 totaling $75.9 million * Funds disbursed: $43.4 million Homeowners: 4,215 checks totaling $40.7 million Businesses, apartments: 238 checks totaling $2.6 million Source: Small Business Administration
The Northridge earthquake of Jan. 17 has generated far more loan applications to the Small Business Administration than any other disaster. Here is a comparison of the loan activity produced by three recent disasters in the first month after the event.
NORTHRIDGE HURRICANE 1993 MIDWEST EARTHQUAKE ANDREW FLOODS Applications issued 293,517 47,954 49,438 Applications returned to SBA 46,023 5,704 4,663 Applications processed 5,715 3,251 3,423 Applications approved 3,036 1,790 2,267 Amount approved $93.3 million $52.4 million $42.9 million