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Houston Small Business Loan Numbers Show Impact From Harvey

Fiscal 2018 was another record year for small business loans in Houston, but the numbers hide a less positive truth.

Florian Martin/Houston Public Media
Many small businesses were flooded by Harvey, like those in the Deerbrook Marketplace strip mall in Humble.

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Houston's small businesses took out more than $1.05 billion in loans through the Small Business Administration in fiscal year 2018, which ended September 30.

But, Tim Jeffcoat, district director for the SBA in Houston, called it "a disappointing record year."

While the overall dollar amount went up, the number of small businesses that received loans shrank. Jeffcoat attributed this in part to the flooding from Harvey suppressing small business growth.

"That tends to have more of an effect on the smaller businesses than it does on medium-size and large businesses," he said.

Larger businesses are more likely to have risk insurance, Jeffcoat said, which helps them recover more quickly.

Separate from the 2018 loans, small businesses were also granted more than $455 million in emergency loans after Harvey.

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