Many small-business lenders are seeing signs of a thaw in the secondary market for loans backed by the Small Business Administration.
That is spurring more lenders to originate new loans — and more small companies to apply for them.
In February, the latest month for which figures are available, 35% of newly approved 7(a) loans, the most popular SBA loan program, sold on the secondary market, according to the Government Accounting Office. That was up from 24% in January. From September 2007 to September 2008, before the credit crunch, 45% of approved 7(a) loans sold on the secondary market.