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Small Business

November 11, 1994|Don Lee Times staff writer

Banking on SBA Loans: The surge in Small Business Administration loans is keeping a lot of banks happy. And wearing the biggest smiles in Orange County are the folks at the Money Store and the Bank of Yorba Linda.

Figures released this week show that the Money Store, a financial services firm that specializes in SBA loans, maintained its lead in Orange County by making 69 loans for $32.7 million in the 12 months ended Sept. 30. That was up from 56 loans for $25.7 million in the previous fiscal year.

Among traditional banks, the Bank of Yorba Linda was No. 1--jumping from the 10th spot a year earlier. With SBA offices in Laguna Niguel and Yorba Linda, the bank made 56 SBA loans for $20.9 million in the last fiscal year. That was up from just 12 loans for $5.6 million a year earlier.

"It's word of mouth," says Al Thielemann, vice president of sales at the Bank of Yorba Linda. Whose mouths? Mainly commercial brokers, according to Thielemann.

With most of the SBA's general loans these days going to businesses buying new offices or warehouses, it is the commercial broker who can often sway or lead the business owner to a particular bank.

SBA loans are highly profitable for banks because they can sell them to the secondary market for an immediate profit. Plus, they are safer than most other loans because the SBA guarantees 70% to 90% of them.

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