In New England, the US Small Business Administration supported 4,543 loans totaling a record $1.4 billion in 2011 in New England. (SBA’s fiscal year ran from October 1, 2010 through September 30, 2011). This compares with $1.2 billion in 2010 which represents a 14 percent increase this year over 2010 results. The SBA guaranteed 3,959 loans through its flagship 7(a) Loan Guaranty Program for a total of $783.5 million. These loans are available to purchase or construct real estate, equipment and inventory, to finance fixtures and leasehold improvements, and for working capital.SBA’s Certified Development Company/504 Loan Program participants were responsible for $636 million in loans to 584 small businesses to construct, purchase or rehabilitate fixed assets such as land, buildings, and machinery and equipment.‘This is fantastic news for small businesses and we’re very pleased with the results our two main loan programs showed in 2011,’ said SBA New England Regional Administrator Jeanne A. Hulit. ‘This positive trend means that the SBA has provided small businesses with the tools they need so they can power the economy and create jobs.’ Eastern Bank was the #1 SBA 7a lender in New England with 343 loans totaling $24.5 million and the #1 SBA 504 first mortgage lender in New England approving 27 mortgages totaling $9.6 million.Citizens Bank was the second highest producer with 241 loans for $35 million and TD Bank North ranked third with 177 loans totaling $40 million. Completing the list of top ten SBA lenders in New England are: Sovereign Bank, People’s United Bank, Bank Rhode Island, Webster Bank, Enterprise Bank & Trust Co., Northway Bank, and Rockland Trust Company. ‘Our strong partnerships with the 235 lending institutions that participated in SBA lending throughout New England have led to significant financing opportunities for small businesses that could not obtain financing otherwise,’ said Hulit.Both Massachusetts and Rhode Island posted record dollar volumes this year. Massachusetts supported $595 million and Rhode Island $152 million. And nationally, spurred in part by unprecedented loan volume in the year’s first quarter, small business loans backed by SBA reached the highest mark in the agency’s history. SBA supported over $30 billion continuing the rebound begun in 2009 and returning to healthy pre-recession levels in the final three quarters of the year. For more information about SBA programs and services visit our website at www.sba.gov(link is external) .