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Figures released by the U.S. Small Business Administration Montana District Office show that during fiscal year 2017 (Oct. 1, 2016 - Sept. 30, 2017), SBA guaranteed 287 small business loans totaling $97,260,419.  Of these loans, 268 for $86 million were made through SBA’s 7(a) Guaranty Loan Program which provides short or long term financing for small business start-up or expansion needs. 

Nineteen loans totaling $11 million were made through SBA’s 504 Certified Development Company program, providing long term fixed rates financing for land, buildings and equipment. 
Glacier Bancorp, Inc., headquartered in Kalispell, made the largest number of SBA guaranteed loans during the year.  The entire Glacier Bancorp Montana division approved 50 SBA guaranteed loans totaling $7,144,900.  First Interstate Bank lead in dollars loaned with $16,735,519.
Fitness and recreational sports centers, full and limited service restaurants, mobile food services, and hotels/motels were among the most frequently financed businesses during the fiscal year.  Of the 287 loans, 59 loans totaling $10,182,800 were made to women-owned businesses, 15 loans totaling $3,731,500 were made to veterans, and 21 loans totaling $4,188,019 were made to minority business owners. 
 “Montana is well known for being one of the best places in the country to start a small business,” said Wayne Gardella, the SBA District Director for Montana. “Out of the 287 loans that were guaranteed by the SBA, 50% were made to new/startup businesses, while 144 existing businesses received $63,107,700 in SBA guaranteed funding across the state.”